The Business Review reports that cider legally sold in New York state must now be treated to kill E. coli and other microorganisms, which will be a disappointment for those who enjoy natural unpasteurized apple cider.
Gov. George Pataki signed a bill into law this month that requires cider to be pasteurized or exposed to ultraviolet light. Each method destroys microorganisms like the potentially deadly E. coli 0157:H7, and cryptosporidium. Cider made for production of hard cider or vinegar is exempt from the treatment requirement.
The New York Apple Association asked the state Legislature to approve the cider-treatment requirement following an E. coli outbreak last fall that was traced to cider from an orchard in Peru, Clinton County. More than 300 people were sickened by the tainted cider.
The treatment requirement goes into effect in mid-January 2006, getting most orchards through the processing of the 2005 crop and giving farmers time to comply with the new rules.