The Baugher's Apple Cider E. coli Outbreak
In early November, public health officials in Maryland warned consumers that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak had been traced to Baugher's apple cider. The cider, which is unpasteurized, had been identified as the source of at least 7 E. coli infections. Anyone who purchased Baugher's apple cider is encouraged to discard any remaining apple cider due to potential E. coli contamination.
E. coli contamination
Fruit and vegetable juices can become contaminated with E. coli before processing. E. coli outbreaks have been traced to fresh apple cider even when steps such as brushing and washing apples have been taken to reduce the opportunity for bacterial contamination. The use of “down” apples, or apples that have fallen to the ground before being harvested, is a risk factor for E. coli contamination since animals – like deer – that shed E. coli can forage for food in orchard areas and fruit can fall in animal feces as it drops from trees. Juice that has been pasteurized or has received other treatment, such as UV irradiation, surface treatment, or high pressure treatment is safe to drink. Juice that has not received such treatment may be contaminated with E. coli or other pathogens.
E. coli infection
E. coli infection occurs when food or beverages contaminated with E. coli bacteria are consumed. It takes very few microscopic bacteria to cause illness in an otherwise healthy person. Symptoms of E. coli infection include painful abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which can become bloody. Dehydration is a concern for anyone who becomes ill with E. coli infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a severe, life-threatening complication of E. coli infection that occurs in 5-10% of E. coli patients.
Contact an E. coli lawyer
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection after consuming unpasteurized apple juice and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation. Marler Clark is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and other foodborne illnesses. You can fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 866-770-2032. There is no cost to you.