Tis the season for cider, but not Uncle John's Cider Mill cider, because that cider might be full of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria.
The Lansing State Journal reports that the St. Johns, Mich., mill may have distributed roughly 1,200 gallons of contaminated cider on Oct. 17. The cider, sold in jugs with an Oct. 30 sell-by date, was also sold at the mill itself by the cup from Oct. 18 to 21.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development consumer advisory went out on Tuesday, warning consumers to stay away from "Uncle John's Old Fashioned Apple Cider," and urging those who have purchased the beverage to "dispose of the product immediately."
The department also offered some details on the effects of E.coli:
The E.coli symptoms vary by individual, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting…. Around 5–10% of those diagnosed with Shiga-toxin producing E.coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Upset customers have been posting messages to Uncle John's Facebook page. One wrote, "I think you guys owe it to your customers to make a public announcement about the contaminated cider. I purchased 2 gallons and 2 dozen donuts on October 17th. Many didnt know the cause of the illness including myself…" Another asked, "I bought cider there on Saturday, am I safe ??"
The contamination was discovered via a routine test. So far, no illnesses have been officially reported.
Uncle John's Cider Mill did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.