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MI Agriculture Officials Warn Public About E. Coli Risk From Apple Cider

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued a consumer advisory for Uncle John’s Old Fashioned Apple Cider produced by Uncle John’s Cider Mill located in St. Johns, MI, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC).

No illnesses have been reported to date. However, consumers who have purchased this product at Uncle John’s Cider Mill are urged not to consume it and to dispose of the product immediately.

Uncle John's Cider Mill ciderA routine, random sample collected by a state food inspector tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Uncle John’s has voluntarily ceased sales of cider awaiting further test results.

This advisory affects approximately 1,200 gallons of cider produced on Oct. 17. The cider was sold at the cider mill from the retail cooler, packaged in various-sized plastic jugs with a sell-by date of Oct. 30, 2015, or served directly to consumers by the cup as cold cider, frozen cider slushes and hot cider from Oct. 18-21, 2015.

Consumers with questions may contact Uncle John’s Cider Mill at cider@ujcidermill.com.

Symptoms of E. coli infection vary by individual, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101 degrees F. Most people get better within 5-7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Around 5-10 percent of those diagnosed with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Signs that a person is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most persons with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

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