Some consumers leery of Uncle John’s Cider following E. coli scare

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By Sam Metry
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — Right in the middle of its busy season, Uncle John’s Cider Mill faced an E. coli scare.

“I know that they have been considered clean, but I’m still going to wait a year to be safe,” said Lansing resident Kyle Matheson.

Location of St. John's Cider Mill

Location of St. John’s Cider Mill

Matheson says that he usually purchases 3-4 gallons a year, but only during the fall months.

The contaminated cider came affected 1,200 gallons of cider that were produced on Oct. 17, according to a consumer advisory issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Uncle John’s resumed cider sales on Oct. 28 after all the samples tested from Oct. 22 to Oct. 27 were free of the E. coli virus, according to a post dated Oct. 28 on the cider mill’s Facebook page.

Uncle John’s declined to be interviewed, instead referring queries to a Facebook post.

The post, dated Oct. 27, said, “Yesterday we were faced with the worst thing that has ever happened to us as a family business in 45 years. Our staff, friends, and family all stepped into help. They didn’t have to, but they did.”

Consumers should only be concerned if they purchased cider at Uncle John’s, or had cider at Uncle John’s from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21, according to the Uncle John’s Facebook post. All other cider is to be considered safe.

However, just because the cider is considered safe, that doesn’t mean that customers are going to want to buy their product.

(Factbox created by Sam Metry)

(Factbox created by Sam Metry)

“I definitely stayed away from their cider,” said Ovid resident Claire Stephens. “I just wanted to be careful.”

Stephens wasn’t the only one who stayed away either.

“E. coli is something that I’m going to stay as far away from as possible,” said DeWitt resident Thea Steadman. “My kids love it so I made sure that the cider I did buy was from a different cider mill than Uncle John’s.”

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