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Illinois health officials warn of salmonella risk with illegal Mexican cheeses

Illinois health officials are advising the public not to eat  illegally manufactured cheeses after some 100 people contracted salmonellosis in 13 counties, according to an advisory yesterday.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

A sample of the cheese obtained from the home of a person who became ill tested positive for Salmonella.  Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health departments to identify the manufacturer of the contaminated cheese.

“We’re concerned that people who consume this manufactured cheese may become sick from Salmonella,” said Dr.LaMar Hasbrouck, IDPH Director. “It is important for you to check the labeling to make sure the product was made by a licensed dairy manufacturer – even if you purchased the cheese from a grocery store. If you become ill after eating Mexican-style cheese, contact your health care provider and your local health department.”

Health officials from the following counties have reported the same salmonella strain  believed to be associated with this cheese during the past 21 months: Boone, Cook (including the city of Chicago), DuPage, Fayette, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Vermillion, Washington and Will counties.

Many cases have reported consuming Mexican-style cheese obtained from worksites, including factories, and at train stations, from street vendors and from relatives and friends. The cheese is not labeled and is often wrapped in aluminum foil. IDPH recommends that people who have Mexican-style cheese in their home, but cannot clearly identify the product was made by a licensed or regulated manufacturer, should not eat the cheese.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.
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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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