April 6, 2015

TO: JPA Members

FROM: Patricia Faison

RE: JPA Regulatory Update
(1) FDA Warning Letter – Juice HACCP and Labeling Violations
(2) Governor of California Announces Mandatory Water Restrictions
(3) USDA Announces FoodKeeper Application

FDA Warning Letter – Juice HACCP and Labeling Violations
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published a Warning Letter to Nikki’s Ginger Tea LLC (Detroit, Michigan) citing violations of the juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation (21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 120) and food labeling regulations related to a variety of juice products. A copy of the Warning Letter is available here.

Governor of California Announces Mandatory Water Restrictions
Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown of California recently announced an executive order has been issued mandating water restrictions due to the severe drought that has impacted the state. According to information posted on the Governor’s website, available here, the executive order mandates, in part, the following:

  • The State Water Resources Control Board must implement water reductions in cities and towns to reduce water usage by 25 percent.
  • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments.
  • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use.
  • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models.
  • Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action again communities that ignore these standards.

The announcement does not mention any water restrictions on farmers but notes agricultural water users will be required to report more water use information to state regulators, increasing the state’s ability to enforce against illegal diversions and waste and unreasonable use of water. The executive order is available here.

According to an article posted on, available here, Annemarie Kuhns, economist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), stated that although fruit and vegetable prices decreased in February 2015, prices are expected to increase this year due to inflation. She noted that fresh fruit prices are projected to increase between 2.5 - 3.5 percent and vegetables between 2 - 3 percent, close to historical average increases. Ms. Kuhns notes the drought has the potential to impact the price of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, dairy and eggs but the exact impact is not yet known.

According to the CNN article, California is not the only the state experiencing a drought. Texas and Oklahoma are having “extreme and exceptional” drought with prices for beef and veal expected to rise by 6 percent, which is higher than the 4.1 percent historical average.

JPA will continue to monitor and provide updates, as information becomes available.

USDA Announces FoodKeeper Application
According to a press release recently issued by the USDA, available here, in advance of World Health Day, to be held on April 7, 2015, the Agency is reaffirming its commitment to reduce food waste with the launch of a new FoodKeeper application, which informs consumers on how to store foods and beverages for maximum quality and freshness. The application was developed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The USDA notes billions of pounds of food in the U.S. go to waste each year because consumers are unsure of its safety and quality. In part, the application offers storage timelines for refrigerator, freezer and pantry for over 400 foods. The application is available for Apple and Android devices.

The application is part of an initiative called the U.S. Food Waste Challenge launched in 2013 between the USDA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Food Waste Challenge calls on participants (e.g., farms, agricultural processors, food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, universities and schools, and local governments) to reduce, recover and recycle food waste.

Of particular note, FMI’s Food Keeper website, available here, includes information regarding the storage of shelf-stable and refrigerated juices and nectars, under the “Beverages” heading.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.

Patricia Faison

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