Ontario’s Interim Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Mowat, is warning Ontarians not to consume certain unpasteurized apple cider products produced by Rolling Acres Cider Mill because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. These products were sold in different container types including labelled plastic jugs and unlabelled, soft plastic bags, similar to milk bags.
A recall was announced yesterday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that involved apple cider made by Rolling Acres Apple Cider Mill, and sold on Saturday October 11, 2014 at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market in St. Jacobs County, Ontario and from the company’s own location in Waterloo. Consumers are asked to visit the CFIA’s website for a complete listing of all recalled products.
Ontarians are reminded to check their fridges and freezers for the recalled product and if any is found, it is recommended that it be thrown out right away.
As of October 31st, three people infected with E. coli O157:H7 in Ontario have reported drinking unpasteurized apple cider linked to Rolling Acres Apple Cider Mill. If additional cases of E. coli O157:H7 are reported, they will be investigated to determine if they are associated with unpasteurized apple cider.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is working closely with Public Health Ontario, Public Health Units, the CFIA, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding the recall of these products.
- E. coli O157:H7 are a type of bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals which may cause serious illness in people.
- E. coli O157:H7 infections can be spread by many food sources such as undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized apple cider and milk, ham, turkey, roast beef, sandwich meats, raw vegetables, cheese and contaminated water. It can also spread from the feces of a person who has the infection.
- Poor hand washing and improper food handling are factors that can lead to the spread of the illness.
- Symptoms of E. coli infection include stomach cramps, diarrhea (possibly bloody), fever (infrequent), nausea, vomiting. If you or a family member have any of the symptoms, it is important to wash your hands, after going to the bathroom, and before preparing food for others.
- Anyone with persistent symptoms should see their physician immediately.
- E. coli is not spread through normal, everyday interactions with friends or neighbours. However, once someone has consumed contaminated food or water, this infection can be passed from person to person by hand to mouth contact.
Generally, an E. coli O157:H7 infection must run its course. Antibiotic medications are not recommended and may increase the risk of complications.