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Minnesota: 13 people sickened with salmonella linked to raw queso fresco

Minnesota health officials are reporting a salmonella outbreak, which has sickened at least 13 people, is linked to eating  unpasteurized, Mexican-style cheese, queso fresco made in a private home, according to a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) news release yesterday.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

According to officials, 11 cases of infection have been confirmed with the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. Eight were hospitalized. Additional illnesses have been reported in family members of the cases, including two hospitalizations. All have recovered.

Many cases reported eating unpasteurized queso fresco purchased or received from an individual who made the product in a private home. Investigators have determined that the individual made home deliveries and also may have sold the product on a street corner near the East Lake Street area of Minneapolis.

Anyone who may have purchased or received this product recently should not eat it but should throw it away.

This report come a day after the MDH reported on another Salmonella outbreak in people who bought ducklings from a local store.

“While our immediate concern is that there might be additional illnesses associated with consumption of this particular product, we also want to remind people of the inherent risk of consuming any raw dairy product,” said Dr. Carlota Medus, foodborne illness epidemiologist with MDH. “We encourage people to think carefully about those risks before consuming raw dairy products from any source and know that the risks are especially high for young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.”

Raw milk has been found to contain numerous pathogens that can cause serious illness, including Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli,Salmonella, Listeria, and Yersinia.

Salmonella is an organism, which 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.

Children are especially susceptible because they frequently put their fingers into their mouths and because their immune systems are still developing.

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.

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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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