Escherichia coli has been identified as the causative agent in numerous foodborne illness outbreaks associated with the consumption of fresh apple cider. Apple cider has a pH which is normally below 4.0 and would not be considered a medium capable Of Supporting the growth of foodborne pathogens. The association of unpasteurized apple cider with foodborne illness due to E. coli O157:H7 has however, led to increased interest in potential alternative methods to produce pathogen free cider. Apple cider was prepared from eight different apple cultivars, inoculated with approximately 10(6)-10(7) CFU of three strains of E. coli O157:H7 per ml (933, ATCC 43889, and ATCC 43895) and tested to determine the effectiveness of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC). Bacterial populations for treated and untreated samples were then enumerated by using non-selective media, Eight different ciders were treated with DMDC (125 and 250 ppm) and SO2 (25, 50, 75, 100 ppm). Greater than a 5-log reduction was achieved at room temperature with 250 ppm of DMDC and 50 ppm Of SO2 after the incubation time of 6 h and 24 h, respectively. Addition of DMDC and/or SO2 may offer an inexpensive alternative to thermal pasteurization for the production of safe apple cider for small apple cider producers. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.