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Use of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and Alternative Treatments in the Production of Apple Cider

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practices of Maryland cider producers and determine whether implementing hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) would reduce the microbial contamination of cider. Cider producers (n = 11) were surveyed to determine existing manufacturing practices and sanitation. A training program was then conducted to inform operators of safety issues, including contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, and teach HACCP concepts and principles, sanitation procedures, and good manufacturing practice (GMP). Although all operators used a control strategy from one of the model HACCP plans provided, only one developed a written HACCP plan. None developed specific GMP, sanitation standard operating procedures, or sanitation monitoring records. Six operators changed or added production controls, including the exclusion of windfall apples, sanitizing apples chemically and by hot dip, and cider treatment with UV light or pasteurization. Facility inspections indicated improved sanitation and hazard control but identified ongoing problems. Microbiological evaluation of bottled cider before and after training, in-line apples, pomace, cider, and inoculated apples was conducted. E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, or Staphylococcus aureus were not found in samples of in-line apple, pomace, and cider, or bottled cider. Generic E. coli was not isolated on in-coming apples but was found in 4 of 32 (13%) in-line samples and 3 of 17 (18%) bottled fresh cider samples, suggesting that E. coli was introduced during in-plant processing. To produce pathogen-free cider, operators must strictly conform to GMP and sanitation procedures in addition to HACCP controls. Controls aimed at preventing or eliminating pathogens on source apples are critical but alone may not be sufficient for product safety.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Food Control, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 6 St. Paul Street, Suite 1301, Baltimore, Maryland 21202–1608, USA

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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