Cider pressed from this year’s apple crop will be the last that can be legally sold in New York state without being treated to kill E. coli and other microorganisms, according to The Business Review.
New York 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.
The New York Apple Association, comprised of apple growers, 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.
Cider made for production of hard cider or vinegar is exempt from the treatment requirement. The fermentation process also naturally kills the microorganisms.
An estimated 5 million bushels of New York’s crop goes into apple juice and cider production each year.