Source: MICHIGAN STATE UNIV submitted to
APPLE JUICE AND HACCP: HAZARD SURVEILLANCE, TRAINING, AND PERCEPTIONS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0190446
Grant No.
2001-51110-11362
Project No.
MICL08275
Proposal No.
2001-05046
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Sep 15, 2001
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2005
Grant Year
2001
Project Director
Bourquin, L. D.
Recipient Organization
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
(N/A)
EAST LANSING,MI 48824
Performing Department
HUMAN NUTRITION
Non Technical Summary
Fruit and vegetable juices have been implicated in a number of foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years. This has resulted in new federal regulations for juice products. This study will measure effectiveness of HACCP implementation by the juice industry by measuring microbiological hazards in juice products, surveying production practices, and interviewing processors, regulators and consumers.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
90%
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
10%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
7121110110030%
7121110308010%
7124010110030%
7124010308010%
9031110110010%
9031110308010%
Goals / Objectives
The overall objective of this proposed work is to quantify, to the extent possible, the impact of new federal regulations concerning the safe production of juices and on the incidence of hazards of public health concern. The Michigan apple juice processing industry will be used as a model. We chose the to focus on the apple juice industry based on 1) the history of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with apple juice and cider, and 2) our strong connections to the industry in Michigan. Although the proposed work will focus on apple juice products, the results of this research should be readily applicable to other fruit and vegetable juice products and to HACCP implementation in general. We will pursue the following specific aims: 1. Determine the incidence of selected microbial hazards in apple juice and apple cider products. 2. Survey the production and processing practices of apple processors to determine if these are correlated to the observed incidence and magnitude of food safety hazards. 3. Conduct intensive in-line and environmental sampling in four apple juice and cider processing facilities to determine the impact of production and processing steps on hazard incidence and magnitude. 4. Survey the attitudes and perceptions of HACCP and juice safety among processors, regulatory personnel, and consumers. 5. Use the accrued information from aims 1-4 to derive semi-quantitative risk assessments and drive risk management decision-making by juice processors. 6. Use information derived from aims 1-5 to further develop and refine HACCP training curricula and resources for the juice industry.
Project Methods
The incidence of microbiological hazards will be surveyed in apple juice and cider products. Samples obtained from retail outlets (200/year) will include a variety of apple juice products, ranging from thermally processed shelf-stable products to fresh apple cider. Samples from farm markets (200/year) will include both pasteurized and non-pasteurized apple cider. Samples will be obtained at a number of locations and times throughout each year. These samples will be analyzed for microbiological characteristics, indicator organisms, and organisms that are direct health hazards (aerobic plate count, total coliforms, generic E. coli, and Salmonella). Information on apple production and processing practices used by apple cider and juice manufacturers in Michigan will also be collected. The information will be obtained by direct interviews of the juice processors (50). Data derived from the questionnaire will be coded and correlated with hazard incidence data obtained under specific aim1 for juice products from the same processing plants. This work will allow us to correlate production and processing practices with the incidence and levels of microbiological hazards. To gain a greater understanding of the influence of processing conditions on hazard incidence in apple juice products, we will conduct intensive in-line and environmental sampling in four processing plants. Processing plants participating in this phase of the project will be sampled on two occasions during each year of the project. Tentatively, we would anticipate these times to be September/October and December/January of all three years (based on the seasonal production of apple cider). These samples will be analyzed for aerobic plate count, total coliforms, generic E. coli, and Salmonella. Personal interviews will be conducted with cider processors (25) and regulators (25) in Michigan in both the first and third year of the project. Interviews conducted in the first year will be used to develop outreach materials, as well as inform other components of the research, including surveys with consumers and interviews with regulators. Interviews in the third year will be conducted with the same processors and regulators to evaluate efforts toward raising awareness and compliance, as well as informing future efforts. Interview questions will focus on awareness and implementation of HACCP, perceived strengths and weaknesses of the system, perceptions, discussions of HACCP with other processors or regulators, and other factors which may impact perceptions of HACCP. Residents of Michigan (approximately 1,000) also will be surveyed by telephone as a means of gathering information on consumer attitudes, perceptions, and understanding toward juice product options and toward HACCP practices of juice processors. Information gathered from this research will be utilized in risk assessment models to assess the impact of processing technologies and agricultural practices on microbiological hazards in juice products. This information also will be infused into HACCP training curricula and programs offered to juice processors.

Progress 09/15/01 to 09/30/05

Outputs
The first objective of this research was to determine the incidence of microbial pathogens and indicator organisms in Michigan apple juice products. A total of 587 samples of apple cider or apple juice were obtained from processors in Michigan during 2002-2004. We also obtained data for apple cider samples (n=618) collected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture in 1997-2001, making a total of 1205 samples obtained during this 8-year period. The Michigan Department of Agriculture Geagley Laboratory conducted all microbial analyses. No E. coli O157:H7 was detected in any samples during 1997-2004. The incidence of generic E. coli and total coliforms in samples was relatively consistent for all years and averaged 6.4 and 70.5%, respectively, for all samples. The use of thermal processing or ultraviolet light irradiation was associated with significantly reduced microbial contamination in apple cider. Observations from additional in-line samples obtained during apple juice processing by 20 processors indicated that several processors did not have adequate control over their pathogen-reduction measures. Our second objective was to examine the perceptions of Michigan cider processors toward federal food safety regulations. In September 2002, a mail survey was sent to 103 active cider processors, of whom 49 returned completed questionnaires. Cider processors were divided in their perception of the potential effectiveness of the Juice HACCP regulation to ensure apple cider safety. Processors that perceived a need for the Juice HACCP regulation (29%) pointed out that HACCP is essential to guarantee the safety of the cider, public health, and consumer trust. Half of those processors had implemented a 5-log reduction step and moved towards or implemented a HACCP plan. Processors that did not see a need for the Juice HACCP regulation (51%) perceived the regulation as unnecessary, ineffective in reducing bacteria counts or in improving consumer confidence, and resulting in unnecessary expense and governmental oversight of the juice industry. Based on their perceptions, these processors were less likely to spend time and money to move towards compliance with HACCP. An additional survey was conducted to evaluate the concerns of Michigan consumers regarding the safety of juice products and how consumer perceptions affected their purchase decisions for juice products. In October 2002, an e-mail questionnaire was sent to 1,000 Michigan primary household shoppers of whom 85% returned the questionnaire. The majority of consumers indicated a high level of concern about all potential hazards listed in the survey. Knowledge about food safety was limited in consumers. Using multiple-choice questions, only 17.5% of the consumers knew that HACCP is a food safety program and none could identify the required labeling elements for refrigerated fruit juice.

Impacts
Recently-adopted federal regulations require hazard analysis and critical control point procedures be adopted by juice processors in order to control biological, chemical and physical hazards in these products. This work identified the prevalence of microbiological hazards and indicator organisms in apple juice products, identified barriers to HACCP implementation, and provided training materials for the industry. Results of this work will help reduce hazard incidence in juice products and improve the viability of small juice processing plants.

Publications

  • Bobe, G., Thede, D.J., Harris, K.L., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2005. Bacterial levels in apple cider from Michigan mills in response to the new juice regulations. 2005 IFT Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts.
  • Bobe, G., Thede, D.J., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2005. Perceptions and decisions of Michigan cider processors in response to juice regulation. 2005 IFT Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts.
  • Bobe, G., Thede, D.J., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2005. Perceptions and responses of Michigan consumers regarding the safety of refrigerated juice products. 2005 IFT Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts.
  • Thede, D.J., Bobe, G., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2005. Michigan consumers' perceptions regarding the safety of refrigerated juice products. J. Amer. Dietetic Assoc. 105(8) Suppl. 2:A-50 (abstract).


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
Our first objective was to determine the incidence of microbial pathogens and indicator organisms in apple cider samples obtained from Michigan cider mills. In the Fall of 2003 and 2004, 469 end-product samples from 114 Michigan cider mills were obtained. Additional in-line samples were taken at different steps during cider processing from 15 mills that used thermal pasteurization or UV-light irradiation. All samples were analyzed for E. coli O157:H7, generic E. coli, total coliforms, and total aerobic plate counts. None of the samples contained detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7. However, 32 samples (including five pasteurized or UV-light treated samples) contained generic E. coli, indicating potential fecal contamination. Observations from in-line samples indicated that a subset of mills did not have adequate control over their pathogen-reduction measures. Our second objective was to examine the perceptions of Michigan cider processors toward federal food safety regulations and how their perceptions affected their business decisions. In September 2002, a mail survey was sent to 103 active cider processors, of whom 49 returned completed questionnaires. Cider processors were divided in their perception of the effectiveness of the Juice HACCP regulation to ensure apple cider safety. Processors that perceived a need for the Juice HACCP regulation (29%) pointed out that HACCP is essential to guarantee the safety of the cider, public health, and consumer trust. Half of those processors had implemented a 5-log reduction step and moved towards or implemented a HACCP plan. Processors that did not see a need for the Juice HACCP regulation (51%) perceived the regulation as unnecessary, ineffective in reducing bacteria counts or in improving consumer confidence, and resulting in unnecessary expense and governmental oversight of the juice industry. Based on their perceptions, these processors were less likely to spend time and money to move towards compliance with HACCP. These results indicate that the likelihood of processors taking affirmative steps to comply with the Juice HACCP regulation depends upon their attitudes concerning the necessity of this regulation. A consumer survey was conducted to evaluate 1) the concerns of Michigan consumers regarding the safety of juice products and 2) how consumer perceptions affected their purchase decisions for juice products. In October 2002, an e-mail questionnaire was sent to 1,000 Michigan primary household shoppers of whom 85% returned the questionnaire. The majority of consumers were very concerned about all mentioned potential hazards (pesticides, bacteria, mold, foreign material, processing chemicals, and insects) and to a smaller extent concerned about allergens, artificial ingredients, and preservatives in refrigerated juice. Knowledge about food safety was limited in consumers. Using multiple-choice questions, only 17.5% of the consumers knew that HACCP is a food safety program and none could identify the required labeling elements for refrigerated fruit juice.

Impacts
New federal regulations require hazard analysis and critical control point procedures be adopted by juice processors in order to control biological, chemical and physical hazards in these products. This work identified the prevalence of microbiological hazards and indicator organisms in apple juice products, identified barriers to HACCP implementation, and provided training materials for the industry. Results of this work will help reduce hazard incidence in juice products and improve the viability of small juice processing plants.

Publications

  • Thede, D.J. 2004. Michigan apple cider: Processing practices, hazard surveillance, and perceptions. Doctoral Dissertation. Michigan State University.
  • Thede, D.J., Bobe, G., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2004. Survey of bacterial levels in apple cider and its association with intervention technologies and production volume in Michigan cider mills between 1997 and 2002. 2004 IFT Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts.
  • Bobe, G., Thede, D.J., Ten Eyck, T.A., Bourquin, L.D. 2004. Compliance with good manufacturing practices is associated with lower bacterial counts in commercial apple cider. 2004 IFT Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
We obtained 257 random samples of juice products from approximately 100 licensed apple cider mills in Michigan during the 2003 cider season. These samples were subjected to microbiological assays to determine aerobic plate count, total coliforms, total E. coli, and were screened for the presence of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. by ELISA methods. An additional 61 in-line samples were obtained from a sub-set of mills to determine the influence of processing on bacterial counts. The in-line samples were analyzed for aerobic plate count, total coliforms, and total E. coli. Aerobic plate counts of apple cider ranged from <10 to 3,900,000 cfu/mL, with a median of 13,000 cfu/mL. Total coliforms ranged from <3 (the lower detection limit of the assay) to >1,100 cfu/mL (the upper detection limit). Eighty percent of samples contained detectable coliforms. Total E. coli counts ranged from <3 (the lower detection limit of the assay) to 1,100 cfu/mL. Approximately ten percent of samples tested positive for generic E. coli. In addition, we observed that a number of mills who reported the use of thermal pasteurization still had aerobic plate counts in excess of 1,000 cfu/mL. This result could be due to inadequate pasteurization, incorrect use (or non-use) of pasteurization equipment, or post-processing contamination. Two mail surveys were conducted with apple juice processors in Michigan in 2002. The first survey was conducted to determine production and processing practices used by juice processors who manufacture apple juice or cider. These data on production practices will be correlated with microbiological data to decipher practices that are associated with increased or decreased risk of pathogen contamination of juice. The second industry survey was conducted to assess the processor's perceptions and attitudes toward HACCP regulations, and food regulations in general. A web-based survey of consumer perceptions about juice safety also was conducted during the 2002 cider season. The results of both the industry and consumer surveys are being summarized. In addition to these surveys, interviews with processors and inspectors have been conducted, and will be used to further interpret the survey results. Concerns with HACCP and implementation of HACCP among processors with small wholesale accounts were the main foci of the interviews. Results from these surveys have been disseminated at various regional and national conferences and meetings.

Impacts
New federal regulations require hazard analysis and critical control point procedures be adopted by juice processors in order to control biological, chemical and physical hazards in these products. This work will identify the prevalence of microbiological hazards in juice products, identify barriers to HACCP implementation - especially by small processors, and provide training materials and hazard information for the industry. It is anticipated that results of this work will help reduce hazard incidence in juice products and improve viability of small juice processing plants.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
In cooperation with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and their inspectors, we obtained random samples of juice products from approximately 100 licensed apple cider mills in Michigan during the 2002 cider season. These samples were subjected to microbiological assays to determine aerobic plate count, total coliforms, total E. coli, and were screened for the presence of E. coli O157:H7 by an ELISA method. Additional apple juice and cider samples were obtained at retail food stores and were subjected to the same microbiological assays. We also conducted preliminary screening for the presence of Salmonella in samples obtained at retail. The results of these analyses for the 2002 cider season are currently being summarized and statistically analyzed. Two mail surveys were conducted with apple juice processors in Michigan. The first survey was conducted to determine production and processing practices used by juice processors who manufacture apple juice or cider. These data on production practices will be correlated with microbiological data to decipher practices that are associated with increased or decreased risk of pathogen contamination of juice. The second industry survey was conducted to assess the processor's perceptions and attitudes toward HACCP regulations, and food regulations in general. A web-based survey of consumer perceptions about juice safety also was conducted during the 2002 cider season. The results of both the industry and consumer surveys are currently being summarized. Three juice HACCP training courses were conducted for a total of 100 participants during 2002. Training materials for future juice HACCP courses are currently being modified to be in alignment with the FDA-recognized standardized curriculum for juice HACCP training.

Impacts
New federal regulations require hazard analysis and critical control point procedures be adopted by juice processors in order to control biological, chemical and physical hazards in these products. This work will identify the prevalence of microbiological hazards in juice products, identify barriers to HACCP implementation - especially by small processors, and provide training materials and hazard information for the industry. It is anticipated that results of this work will help reduce hazard incidence in juice products and improve viability of small juice processing plants.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 09/15/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
This objectives of this multifunctional project are to: 1) determine the incidence of selected microbial hazards in apple juice and apple cider products, 2) survey the production and processing practices of apple processors to determine if these are correlated to the observed incidence and magnitude of food safety hazards, 3) conduct intensive in-line and environmental sampling in four apple juice and cider processing facilities to determine the impact of production and processing steps on hazard incidence and magnitude, 4) survey the attitudes and perceptions of HACCP and juice safety among processors, regulatory personnel, and consumers, 5) use the accrued information to derive semi-quantitative risk assessments and drive risk management decision-making by juice processors, and 6) develop and refine HACCP training curricula and resources for the juice industry. This project is in its very early stages. Apple juice processors in Michigan have been contacted to survey their interest in participating in this study. We have identified two facilities that have agreed to participate in the intensive in-line sampling, and currently are recruiting two additional facilities. Project personnel have been recruited and we currently are fine-tuning protocols for the initial round of microbiological testing and surveys, which will begin in early 2002. We have conducted three HACCP training courses during the past six months, and will be modifying the training curricula based on feedback from course participants. The training materials also will evolve over the coming months as additional information on juice HACCP implementation becomes available from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Impacts
New federal regulations require hazard analysis and critical control point procedures be adopted by juice processors in order to control biological, chemical and physical hazards in these products. This work will identify the prevalence of microbiological hazards in juice products, identify barriers to HACCP implementation - especially by small processors, and provide training materials and hazard information for the industry. It is anticipated that results of this work will help reduce hazard incidence in juice products and improve viability of small juice processing plants.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period