E. coli cases in Michigan may be linked to apple cider

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is working with the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Community Health to determine whether multiple local illnesses may be linked to the consumption of unlabeled, unpasteurized apple cider.

An investigation is underway into a possible link between several E. coli cases and apple cider in Antrim County.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria have been detected in stool samples from several Antrim County residents who developed severe intestinal illness and diarrhea during the past two weeks. Samples have also been collected to determine whether these cases may be linked to unpasteurized apple cider that was produced locally by an unlicensed facility and without the warning labels required by law for unpasteurized products.

According to Joshua Meyerson, M.D., Medical Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, apple cider – whether pasteurized or unpasteurized – should be obtained only from licensed facilities or vendors.

A table of fresh juice-related outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/fresh-juice-outbreaks.