Tainted Cider Linked to Johnson County Illnesses

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief

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By Adam Carros

IOWA CITY -- Johnson County officials think unpasteurized cider is behind cases of an illness that can cause diarrhea for weeks if untreated.

Johnson County Public Health director Doug Beardsley said the county has recorded 11 cases of cryptosporidiosis in the last week.

"It can be particularly problematic for young children and older people," Beardsley said.

County officials believe the illness is linked to unpasteurized apple cider. Beardsley said the public should not consume unpasteurized apple cider at this time to try to limit any more illnesses.

"That's why we're getting the word out right away," he said.

Unpasteurized products may be purchased as freshly pressed from local orchards, roadside stands, local stores, or farmer’s markets and include an individual’s own apples processed by a private press. Unpasteurized apple cider may be sold but must be labeled to clearly show that it has not been pasteurized.

Iowa has seen a surge of crypto cases this year with 1,157 cases reported so far in 2013. That's about triple the 331 cases Iowa has averaged in the past three years.

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