ANTRIM COUNTY – The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is warning the public to avoid unpasteurized apple cider provided by Mitchell Hill Farm or its proprietor, Jim Ruster. Last week, health officials obtained a search warrant to inspect Mitchell Hill Farm, located on Toad Lake Road in Ellsworth. They found evidence that Ruster had been producing adulterated food, or food prepared under unsanitary conditions that fails to meet health and safety standards as a result.
Anyone who believes they may be in possession of cider from this source should dispose of it immediately, according to Joshua Meyerson, M.D., Medical Director for the Health Department. Dr. Meyerson adds that anyone who has consumed the cider should consult a physician immediately if they experience health problems, such as abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
“What we know is that Mr. Ruster produced unpasteurized apple cider without a license, in an unsanitary facility,” Meyerson said. “People should avoid any cider he has produced.” He added that consumers should be suspicious of apple cider that is unlabeled.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan will continue to collaborate with The Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Community Health in ongoing investigation of Mitchell Hill Farm and any products that may have been distributed to the public.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.