Charges Filed a Year After Cider Made People Ill

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ELLSWORTH, Mich. (AP) -- A northern Michigan farm owner faces criminal charges after at least four people who drank apple cider got sick.

James Ruster of Mitchell Hill Farm in Antrim County is charged with knowingly making adulterated, or unsanitary, food. Inspectors said his cider equipment was unsanitary and had dried food on it.

His customers got sick a year ago, including three who tested positive for E. coli. Ruster couldn't be reached for comment Sunday. Someone who answered the phone at the farm hung up during a call from The Associated Press.

Prosecutor James Rossiter tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle it's an uncommon case in Antrim County.

In 2012, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan urged people to avoid Ruster's cider.

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