Cider with A Kick

Jugs bought at roadside apple stands can be tainted with bacteria

MOST OUTBREAKS OF FOOD POISONING ARE TRACED to contaminated meat. Federal investigators have now identified another potential culprit: fresh apple cider, the kind sold at roadside stands or refrigerated in plastic jugs. Tracking a 1991 Massachusetts outbreak of infection with dangerous E. coli bacteria, researchers discovered that most of the 23 victims drank unpasteurized, unpreserved cider purchased at a local farm stand. Scientists warn that some small cider mills do not carefully wash and scrub their apples, which may have dropped to the ground and been tainted with animal droppings. The drink had been thought safe because of its acidity, but...

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