Raw milk cheese sickens 13 in Minnesota

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A Salmonella outbreak has now sickened 13 people in Minnesota, and state officials point to homemade Mexican-style cheese, queso fresco, as the likely culprit.

According to the Minnesota Health Department, multiple departments from across the state are working together to investigate the outbreak. Officials report that the cheese was made using raw milk and delivered to other friends and family.

It may have also been sold to the public on a Minneapolis street corner.

Of the 13 people who became ill with salmonellosis linked to the raw milk queso fresco, 10 required hospitalized but have since been released.  Click here for the news release.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that health department epidemiologist Carlota Medus points that most queso fresco sold in the United States is made using pasteurized milk.

"Traditionally in Mexico it's not uncommon to find queso fresco made from raw milk. The majority of people in Minnesota are probably buying pasteurized product," Medus said. “But it's very possible that some people want to go back to a more traditional cheese. They find it more flavorful and find ways to find unpasteurized queso fresco."

Medus also says that the individual who made the cheese could face fines. Read more from Minnesota Public Radio.



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