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Salmonella in Orange Juice Sickens 63 People at Disney World

August 17, 1995 GMT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Unpasteurized orange juice contaminated with salmonella bacteria sickened 63 visitors to Walt Disney World in May and June, health officials said Wednesday.

The outbreak was traced to the Florida’s Own juice plant in nearby Winter Haven. The plant has been closed since Aug. 5 and a ``vast amount″ of unpasteurized juice has been recalled, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

Some 3,495 gallons remain on the market, mostly in Florida, the department said. It warned the public not to drink any Florida’s Own juice bearing the words ``Use by 8/17 or 8/20.″

A call to the company went unanswered.

Eight of the victims required hospitalization, the Agriculture Department said in a statement. Spokesman Terence McElroy said he didn’t know why the contamination wasn’t reported earlier.

``We had several reported cases in early June,″ said Disney spokesman Bill Warren, ``and we reported it to the health department and very aggressively helped them try to get to the bottom of it and find the source.″

Salmonella poisoning causes fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Symptoms usually last for several days. It is rarely fatal.

Pasteurization kills salmonella and prevents food poisoning. A small but growing proportion of orange juice sold in stores or served in restaurants is unpasteurized, the agriculture department said.