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FDA issues warning about Brooklyn-based juice manufacturer

May 14, 2013
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carrot juice
Carrot and beet juice products manufactured by the company may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause botulism.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers over juice products and other beverages manufactured by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Juices Inc., also known as Juices International and Juices Enterprises.

Carrot and beet juice products manufactured by the company may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can cause botulism, the FDA said in a statement. According to officials from the agency, consumers should not consume such products even if there is no obvious reason for concern, such as foul smell.

The FDA noted that several of the Juices Incorporated products are a particular cause for concern and these include Carrot Juice Drink, Carrot & Beet Juice Drink, Carrot & Ginger Drink, Double Trouble Carrot Punch, Ginger Beet Juice and Beet Juice Drink. The company previously distributed its products in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, but its products were most recently sold in stores and restaurants in New York City.

Suspicions for the safety of the products were first raised in 2010. Following inspections at the company facility the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint for permanent injunction against the owners. FDA inspectors revealed numerous breaches of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act at the facility, including insanitary conditions. On Jan. 3, 2011, a Consent Decree was issued requiring Juices Incorporated to immediately terminate all manufacturing and marketing of food products, including juice products and other beverages, until the company could prove that measures to improve food safety and correct unsanitary conditions at its facility had been taken.

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Later that year, on June 21, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Sandra L. Townes for the Eastern District of New York issued an Order to Enforce Consent Decree as a result of the company's failure to comply with the requirements set down in the Consent Decree. However, the FDA recently confirmed that Juices Incorporated still continued to produce and distribute food products, including juice products and other beverages, thus breaching both the Consent Decree and the Court's Order to Enforce Consent Decree.

In spite of the fact that Clostridium botulinum has never been found in any of the products manufactured by the company, the FDA is concerned that ongoing unsanitary conditions at the facility might lead to their contamination. Other products that consumers are advised to avoid include Ginger Beer Drink, Agony Peanut Punch, Front End Lifter Magnum Punch, Irish Sea Moss, Cashew Punch, Sorrel Drink, Pineapple Twist, Soursop Juice and Corn Punch, all manufactured by Juices Incorporated.

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