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13 in Minnesota sick from homemade queso fresco

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: April 24, 2013 - 6:11 PM

Thirteen people have become ill with salmonellosis from eating a raw Mexican-style cheese, queso fresco. Officials are warning people of the health risks of eating unpasteurized dairy products.

MDH has confirmed 11 cases of infection with Salmonella Typhimurium. Eight were hospitalized. Other family members became ill, and two were hospitalized. All have recovered. Unpasteurized queso fresco apparently came from someone who made it in a private home and then delivered it to others and may have sold it on a street corner near the East Lake Street area of Minneapolis.

Anyone who may have the cheese should throw it away.

The Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the City of Minneapolis are investigating the outbreak and the source of the raw milk in the cheese.

Raw milk can contain pathogens that can cause serious illness, including Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Yersinia. Pasteurization has been used for almost a century as a way to reduce diseases commonly caused by raw milk.

Minnesota law allows the purchase of raw milk directly from a farm for consumption, but it may not be distributed or sold off the farm. Additionally, cheese production facilities need to follow proper food safety laws and regulations, including licensure.
 

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