Illegal street cheese may be cause of Tulare salmonella cases

If you’re in Tulare County, look out for the street cheese.

County health officials say residents have become ill with salmonella from eating cheese they bought from an unlicensed cheese maker.

An investigation by the Tulare County public health department found the likely source of the illness was cheese bought from a vendor in Woodlake who sells cheeses door-to-door. Leftover cheese was tested and revealed salmonella.

The vendor has not been identified, county health officials said. It is a violation of the California Retail Food Code to sell food without a permit and to make cheese in a facility without a permit, the Fresno Bee reported.

The variations of cheeses that could be contaminated are queso fresco, panela, queso seco, asadero, queso Oaxaca, queso Cotija and crema.

The cheeses may be made with unpasteurized milk that could contain harmful bacteria. People should avoid buying cheeses at swap meets or from door-to-door vendors, said Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County public health officer.


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