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The FDA Is Putting The Squeeze On Pressed Juicery

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The Food and Drug Administration has turned up the heat on cold-pressed juice with a harsh warning letter to Pressed Juicery. The trendy Santa Monica-based company has 15 locations around L.A., nearly all of which seem to be favorites for TMZ-spotted celebrities in yoga pants.The FDA issued an initial warning after an October visit to the juice company’s Fresno manufacturing facility, concerning the company’s compliance with certain bacteria prevention measures. Pressed Juicery responded in November, but the agency found Pressed Juicery’s response to be “inadequate.”

Pressed Juicery responded to the most recent warning letter with a written statement, saying that the FDA has no health or safety issues with their products when they are refrigerated as directed on product labels, and that the agency’s concerns are “specifically related to the potential risks when our products are subject to ‘severe temperature abuse’ such as when someone may forget to refrigerate our juice for days.”

LAist spoke with FDA Public Affairs Specialist Mary Ellen Taylor to better understand the FDA’s warning letter—which Taylor herself described as “very scientific”—and what all of this means for next week’s cleanse.

The primary violation noted in the letter was with Pressed Juicery’s "HACCP plan," which the FDA alleges failed to sufficiently include (get ready, this is a doozy) “control measures that will consistently produce, at a minimum a 5-log reduction of the most pertinent microorganism(s) of public health significance that is likely to occur in the juice, for at least as long as the shelf life of the product when stored under normal and moderate abuse conditions,” particularly in regards to control measures for Clostridium botulinum (the pathogen that causes botulism).

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So what exactly does that mean, in English?

A HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan is basically just a written explanation of a company’s procedures for keeping a food safe to eat. More specifically, it defines how a potentially hazardous food will be handled at different points during production and processing. The FDA mandates and enforces HACCP plans for the juice industry, and they found that Pressed Juicery’s plan doesn’t sufficiently address the prevention of certain pathogens, or the potential for a juice to be improperly refrigerated by a distributor or a consumer (that’s the “normal or moderate abuse” that they are referring to).

According to Taylor, “all it’s saying is that when you do a HACCP plan you have to address all the physical, chemical and microbiological problems that could develop, so they just didn’t consider it. They need to include everything.”

She also made it clear that the FDA didn’t find any pathogens at Pressed Juicery’s manufacturing facility.

“Just because they don’t have the measures there doesn’t mean that their juice is unsafe: it means that they’re not doing what they have to do to make sure that it’s safe. But there is a difference between [the product] having a pathogen and not putting in the control measures to keep it from having the pathogen,” Taylor told LAist.

According to Pressed Juicery's statement, there hasn’t been a single verified incident relating to the safety of their products in the company’s history. They say that they “are working closely with the FDA to address their concerns.”

In the meantime, please make sure that your assistant/Postmate properly refrigerates your next juice delivery to ensure that any potential botulism stays in your forehead and out of intestines.