MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health says at least 25 Minnesotans contracted salmonellosis from eating unpasteurized queso fresco.
The health department has been working with the City of Minneapolis and the state agriculture department to locate the source of the raw milk used to make the cheese. Authorities believe the cheese was made in a home and was sold on a street corner near East Lake Street in Minneapolis.
The cases were first detected late last month. Of the 25 known cases, 15 required hospitalization. All have recovered.
The health department used the outbreak to stress the dangers of consuming raw dairy products.
“It only takes a few bacteria to cause illness. Milking a cow is not a sterile process and even the cleanest dairy farms can have milk that is contaminated. That’s why pasteurization — or the heat treatment of milk to kill the harmful pathogens — is so important,” said Dr. Heidi Kassenborg, director of MDA’s Dairy and Food Inspection Division.
It is suspected this particular outbreak has run its course, the department suggested, but if you have any cheese that matches their description, you should throw it out.