This study examined the effect of different apple cultivars upon the UV inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains within unfiltered apple cider. Apple cider was prepared from eight different apple cultivars, inoculated with approximately 10(6) to 10(7) CFU of three strains of E. coli O157:H7 per ml (933, ATCC 43889, and ATCC 43895), and exposed to 14 mJ of UV irradiation per cm(2). Bacterial populations for treated and untreated samples were then enumerated by using nonselective media. E. coli O157:H7 ATCC 43889 showed the most sensitivity to this disinfection process with an average 6.63-log reduction compared to an average log reduction of 5.93 for both strains 933 and ATCC 43895. The highest log reduction seen, 7.19, occurred for strain ATCC 43889 in Rome cider. The same cider produced the lowest log reductions: 5.33 and 5.25 for strains 933 and ATCC 43895, respectively. Among the apple cultivars, an average log reduction range of 5.78 (Red Delicious) to 6.74 (Empire) was observed, with two statistically significant (alpha less than or equal to 0.05) log reduction groups represented. Within the paired cultivar-strain analysis, five of eight ciders showed statistically significant (alpha less than or equal to 0.05) differences in at least two of the E. coli strains used. Comparison of log reductions among the E. coli strains to the cider parameters of degreesBrix, pH, and malic acid content failed to show any statistically significant relationship (R-2 greater than or equal to 0.95). However, the results of this study indicate that regardless of the apple cultivar used, a minimum 5-log reduction is achieved for all of the strains of E. coli O157:H7 tested.