However, this plan was dropped by Chip Bettle, Odwalla's senior vice president, who feared that the chemicals would harm the fruit and alter the flavor of the juice. Michael Beverly - The 1996 Odwalla E. coli Outbreak. Shares of the company have fallen 30% since closing at $18.375 the day before revelations of the E. coli outbreak, though they’ve recovered somewhat since hitting a 52-week low of $10.375 on Friday. [18], To boost sales following the recall, Odwalla reformulated five products to remove their apple juice content, and released them in November 1996. Coca-Cola is shutting down the juice and smoothie brand Odwalla at the end of July. Coca-Cola purchased Odwalla in 2001 for $181 million, The Journal reported. Fifteen of the cases are children. [3][12][15] Instead, Odwalla relied on washing usable fruit with sanitizing chemicals before pressing. [1] In consequence, Odwalla stock fell by forty percent and sales of its products dropped by ninety percent. L.A. County on verge of becoming COVID-19 epicenter: ‘We are getting crushed’. [1] Odwalla pleaded guilty, and was fined $1.5 million: at the time, the largest penalty in a food poisoning case in the United States. Odwalla > No. [4], On October 30, 1996, health officials from the state of Washington informed Odwalla that they had found a link between an outbreak of the E. coli O157:H7 bacterium and a batch of Odwalla's fresh apple juice produced on October 7. With the brand, Coca-Cola also assumed about $5 million in debt, according to the newspaper. Home Products Odwalla began crafting delicious, nutrient-rich beverages over 40 years ago. She had suffered severe kidney problems, and her heart stopped several times in the days leading to her death. A notorious child rapist was released from prison. However, E. coli bacteria was ultimately identified in an Odwalla product and blamed for the death of 16-month-old Anna Gimmestad of Evans, Colo., who died of heart and lung failure Nov. 8, 1996. Odwalla juice came to Dinuba from the Bay Area in 1994 to be close to the fruit supply that makes up most of its refrigerated juices. [5][6] Confirmation that the bacteria came from outside the factory was provided when an inspection on November 15 found no evidence of E. coli contamination in the facility. [1][3], In a letter to The New York Times written on January 5, 1998, Odwalla's director of communications, Christopher C. Gallagher, wrote that "Odwalla continuously upgraded its manufacturing process in the period leading up to the recall. This difficult decision was not made lightly, and we remain forever thankful to our loyal consumers and team members. The company … Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based Odwalla recalled 16 of its 25 juices Oct. 30 after health officials said the company’s juices, which aren’t pasteurized, were responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning in several states. Odwalla makes healthy fruit smoothies, protein shakes, 100% juices and quenchers using the best fruits and nuts. Blood tests performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that the E. coli that caused the toddler’s food poisoning was the same strain found in Odwalla apple juice, said Richard Hoffman, epidemiologist for the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment. Odwalla Inc.'s apple juice was responsible for the death of a 16-month-old girl last week, Colorado health officials said. Kutcher heard that Jobs drank a lot of Odwalla carrot juice, specifically, even to the point where his skin developed an orange hue. [1] Another possible source of contamination was fallen apples ("grounders"), that had come into contact with animal feces and not been properly cleaned. Moreover, our primary indicator of overall quality was daily bacteria-level readings, which were relatively low and decreasing in apple juice". In the fall of 2006, a cluster of E.coli O157:H7 infections in the US(California, 26 cases; Colorado, 5 cases; Washington, 29 cases) and British Columbia, Canada(10 cases), was linked to the consumption of a broadly distributed, commercially sold, highly regarded, unpasteurized apple juice. The beverage giant had already announced that it will discontinue some beloved, if outdated, drinks, like Tab, Zico and Odwalla. The outbreak was caused by a highly toxic microorganism, E. coli, which tainted a batch of apple juice bottled at Odwalla’s processing plant in Dinuba. [9] Flash pasteurization, as well as several other safety precautions,[14] were introduced to the manufacturing process, and the juices reappeared on store shelves on December 5, 1996. [7] The outbreak came as a surprise as the plant had been inspected by the FDA three months earlier, and Odwalla supervisors were not aware that the E. coli bacteria could grow in acidic, chilled apple juice. [11] Fourteen children were hospitalized with hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a severe kidney and blood disorder, and were, according to doctors, "likely to have permanent kidney damage and other lasting problems". Odwalla Apple Juice E. coli Outbreak By Dan Flynn on September 17, 2009 Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment in a ten-part series on meaningful foodborne illness outbreaks. © Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock Coca-Cola is discontinuing the Odwalla brand. More than 65 … [1], The Odwalla plant had several food safety issues, many of which arose because Odwalla did not pasteurize its juice. Odwalla Apple Juice 1996. Because of the lack of pasteurization and numerous other flaws in its safety practices (one contractor warned that Odwalla's citrus processing equipment was poorly maintained and was breeding bacteria in "black rotten crud"), the company was charged with 16 criminal counts of distributing adulterated juice. The company made the call “given a rapidly shifting marketplace and … L.A. County outlines wrenching moves to ration healthcare if COVID-19 hospital crisis worsens. [7], As a result of the outbreak, 16-month-old Anna Gimmestad of Greeley, Colorado, died from kidney failure,[5] and more than 60 people became sick. Coca-Cola is to cut about 2,200 jobs in its global workforce as part of a restructuring plan. Zoo, campgrounds and playgrounds closed are again. The 1996 Odwalla E. coli outbreak began on October 7, 1996, when American food product company Odwalla produced a batch of apple juice using blemished fruit contaminated with E. coli bacterium, which ultimately killed a 16-month-old girl and sickened 66 people. Some were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, which carried a shiga toxin that caused illnesses and deaths… This was confirmed on November 5, and may have resulted from using rotten fruit; one account tells of fruit being used that was highly decayed. [10] Odwalla opened a website and a call center to handle consumer questions about the recall. In the end, at least 66 people got sick after drinking Odwalla juice, and a child died. Odwalla was founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 1980 by Greg Steltenpohl, Gerry Percy, and Bonnie Bassett. This is the end of a long saga. Odwalla® Healthy Smoothies, Juices, & Protein Drinks. [1] Tests discovered low levels of Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that can harm pregnant women, at the Odwalla factory in 1995. Odwalla began crafting delicious, nutrient-rich beverages over 40 years ago. People over 75, essential workers next in line for vaccine, panel says, L.A. County on verge of becoming COVID-19 epicenter. [17] In addition, the company spent roughly another $12 million settling about a dozen lawsuits from families whose children were infected. Browse through over 30 delicious Odwalla products to find the perfect fruit smoothies, protein shakes, 100% juices, and quenchers to fit your day! The following year the company faced a huge downturn after a batch of apple juice tainted with E. coli killed one person and sickened 66. If laboratory tests confirm that she was infected by the E. coli strain known as O157:H7, Anna would be the first person to have died of the outbreak traced to Odwalla fruit juices. Already, hospitals are struggling to keep up with the pace of new COVID-19 patients. The growing popularity of YouTube in South Korea has led to questionable attempts by users to gain viewers, including promises of vigilante justice. [8] Carrot and vegetable juices were also recalled the following day as a precautionary measure, since they were processed on the same line. Odwalla Inc. was forced to recall its unpasteurized apple juice following an E.coli outbreak in 1996. That year, its ap­ple juice became contaminated with E. coli, resulting in the death of one 16-month-old and dozens more cases of illness. [7][9] The recall cost the company $6.5 million and took around 48 hours to complete, with almost 200 trucks being dispatched to collect the recalled products. All but one of the patients drank Odwalla apple-juice products, health officials say. In October of 1996, the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health linked 13 cases of E. coli O157:H7 to unpasteurized apple juice sold by Odwalla. Odwalla made and marketed unpasteurized fruit juices for the health segment of the juice market. Delicious snacks on-the-go! [12][13] The company laid off 60 workers, and, at the end of the fiscal year, posted a loss of $11.3 million. [1], The next year, Dave Stevenson, Odwalla's technical services director who oversaw quality assurance, suggested to Odwalla executives that the company should add a chlorine rinse to guard against bacteria on the skin of processed fruit, supplementing its existing phosphoric acid wash process. Against company policy, it used apples that had fallen on the ground to make apple juice. of cases: 65+ > No. of deaths: 1. Odwalla Inc. was forced to recall its unpasteurized apple juice following an E.coli outbreak in 1996. Odwalla Inc.'s apple juice was responsible for the death of a 16-month-old girl last week, Colorado health officials said. Most of California bans vacation stays, but travelers, lodgings aren’t in line. [2] In response, the company spent several million dollars to upgrade the plant's safety features, and bacteria were reduced to "relatively low levels". Colorado released the statement after the stock market closed. Enforcement is a question. Health officials said when people drink nonpasteurized juice, they … With the surge showing no signs of slowing down, L.A. County facilities are preparing for how to allocate care in a crisis situation. A Colorado baby who fell ill after drinking Odwalla apple juice died yesterday of complications from bacterial infection, the first fatality linked to … Hordes of YouTube vigilantes awaited. Ticker Odwalla products had been delivered to retail locations via a fleet of about 230 refrigerated trucks — one example of how certain products can introduce complications into a company's supply chain. Advertisement of cases: 65+ > No. Odwalla, Inc. uses only the finest, juiciest goods possible to produce high quality natural juices. Odwalla made and marketed unpasteurized fruit juices for the health segment of the juice market. Odwalla makes healthy fruit smoothies, protein shakes, 100% juices and quenchers using the best fruits and nuts. The L.A. An outbreak of E. coli illness linked to a California company’s unpasteurized apple juice claimed its first fatality Friday with the death of a 15-month-old Colorado girl. [1] Based on a recommendation from the FDA, on October 30, Odwalla's Chief Executive Officer Stephen Williamson voluntarily recalled 13 products which contained apple juice from about 4,600 stores. [11][16] With the judge's permission, Odwalla donated $250,000 of the $1.5 million to fund research in preventing food-borne illnesses. Odwalla started out selling unpasteurized juices and was doing fine until it got too big. Gallagher added, "We had a process (in 1996) that we believed wholly effective in producing safe, high-quality juice." The 1996 Odwalla E. coli outbreak began on October 7, 1996, when American food product company Odwalla produced a batch of apple juice using blemished fruit contaminated with E. coli bacterium, which ultimately killed a 16-month-old girl and sickened 66 people. Odwalla > No. The trio took the idea of selling fruit juices from a business guidebook, and they began by squeezing orange juice with a secondhand juicer in a shed in Steltenpohl's backyard. Coca-Cola is shutting down the juice and smoothie brand Odwalla at the end of July. Over 1,500 people die in one week — a staggering number that represents nearly 7% of the state’s more than 22,000 total coronavirus-related fatalities. Odwalla's production facility is in Dinuba, California. More than 65 … Delicious snacks on-the-go! Pasteurization, which involves heat treatment, would have killed the bacteria in the Odwalla products. of deaths: 1. Juice maker Odwalla Inc. Thursday pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a record $1.5 million fine in what federal officials said was the first criminal conviction in a contaminated food outbreak. 1998: In what federal officials say is the largest criminal fine for a food injury case to date, Odwalla agrees to pay $1.5 million and pleads guilty to charges of contaminated apple juice shipments. That Monday we sent a FOIA to the Army and were stunned within days to receive a packet of documents showing that Odwalla had tried to sell its juice to the U.S. Army and had been rejected several months before the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that would sicken dozens and kill one child. [19], "Deadly Bacteria a New Threat To Fruit and Produce in U.S.", "Questions of Pasteurization Raised After, "What Can Consumers Do to Insure Food Safety? They sold their product from the back of a Volkswagen van to local restaurants, employing slogans such as "soil to soul, people to planet and nourishing the body whole". In 1980, three young musicians in Santa Cruz, California, started selling great-tasting juices out of the back of their VW van. With great sadness, we share that our journey has come to an end, and the Odwalla brand is being discontinued. The FDA subsequently announced a recall of all Odwalla juices containing raw apple juice. Seventy people were sickened by the juice and a 16-month old Colorado girl died. Though the company prides itself in being the healthy choice, Odwalla learned a lesson in the importance of pasteurization in 1996. After spending several years evaluating its Odwalla brand of juice in an effort to find a way to make it profitable, Coca-Cola announced that it is closing down the brand permanently. Odwalla, Inc. is currently hiring for food manufacturing jobs and careers including maintenance jobs, quality assurance jobs, food safety jobs, food science jobs, research and development jobs, marketing jobs, sanitation jobs and more. ; Company Took Steps", U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "How to Make Your Company More Resilient", "Odwalla will pasteurize its apple juice", "Tropicana welcomes use of flash pasteurization", "Agreement Reached Between Odwalla, Inc. and U.S. Attorney in Fresno, CA", "Juice-Poisoning Case Brings Guilty Plea and a Huge Fine", "Purifying a tainted corporate image: Odwalla's response to an, 2008 United States salmonellosis outbreak, 2017–18 South African listeriosis outbreak, 2018 Australian rockmelon listeriosis outbreak, Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1996_Odwalla_E._coli_outbreak&oldid=989582478, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Articles with dead external links from April 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The outbreak was profiled in the fourth-season episode of, The outbreak is discussed in a book on Food Safety, This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 20:46. 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