The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development today issued a consumer advisory for Uncle John’s Old Fashioned Apple Cider produced by Uncle John’s Cider Mill located at 8614 US-127 in St. Johns, MI, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga-toxin producing E. coli bacteria. Consumers who have purchased this product at Uncle John’s Cider Mill are urged not to consume it and dispose of the product immediately.
A routine, random sample collected by an MDARD food inspector tested positive for the Shiga-toxin producing E. coli by the department’s Geagley Laboratory. No illnesses have been reported to date. Uncle John’s has voluntarily ceased sales of cider awaiting further test results.
This advisory affects approximately 1,200 gallons of cider produced on October 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 October 30, 2015; or served directly to consumers by the cup as cold cider, frozen cider slushes and hot cider, from October 18 through October 21.
The E. coli symptoms 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˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Around 5–10% of those diagnosed with Shiga-toxin producing E.coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. 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.