Guidance for Processing Fresh Juices in Retail Operations
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The following is a description of this publication:
Juice is defined in 21 CFR 120.1; "juice"' refers both to beverages that are composed exclusively of an aqueous liquid or liquids extracted from one or more fruits or vegetables and to the juice ingredient in those beverages that contain other ingredients in addition to juice. In this guidance, the term "juice product" refers both to beverages that contain only juice and to the juice ingredient of beverages that are composed of juice and other ingredients. Fresh juice is defined as a juice product that has not been subjected to a process, such as pasteurization, to prevent, reduce or eliminate microbiological hazards.
This guidance has been prepared in response to a notable increase in on-site retail processing (manufacturing) of foods traditionally processed in controlled plant environments. Such retail processing can involve, but is not limited to acidifying, smoking, drying, fermenting, curing, reduced oxygen packaging, and other operations that are traditionally done at a food manufacturing plant level. The key distinction for processing as related to this guidance is that the processing occurs on-site in the retail setting. This guidance is intended for retailers and regulatory personnel to help understand the controls to implement in a retail operation in order to process and sell safe food products. It can be referenced in developing considerations for variances for any exception or special provision to state or local food safety or sanitary codes. It addresses those special variances required by the FDA Food Code which may require HACCP plans for those jurisdictions that have adopted those portions of the FDA Food Code. In addition, it also applies to regulatory oversight and/or approval for regulatory overlap that may occur between the states processing requirements and the state or local retail food safety and sanitary codes. This guidance assumes retail compliance with applicable retail food codes, prerequisite standard sanitary operations procedures, and labeling requirements specified in 21 CFR 101. This guidance is not intended to replace or duplicate existing regulations, but it does offer a reference for more uniform practices.
This guidance is not a binding set of requirements. The information provided in the guidance are recommendations based on current science, commercial experience and practical considerations as assembled by the assigned committees and reviewed by a variety of selected experts and the Project Steering Committee. Use of these recommendations would likely result in retail processing practices that are acceptable to the pertinent authorities for food safety. Retail compliance and enforcement will remain within the interpretations and decisions of the pertinent state and local regulatory authorities.