Thirteen people in Minneapolis have become sickened with after eating a Mexican-style cheese made with raw milk, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
The health department says 11 of those cases are confirmed as salmonella infections. At least eight people were hospitalized last month with the same strain of salmonella after eating unpasteurized queso fresco. The product was homemade by someone who delivered the cheese to friends and family.
Others also may have purchased the queso fresco on a street corner on East Lake Street in Minneapolis, health department epidemiologist Carlota Medus said. She advises anyone who suspects they may have purchased the cheese to throw it out.
"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," she 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."
Also hospitalized were two additional persons who are household members of those with confirmed cases. There have also been reports of other family members who have become ill, but MDH does not have details on their symptoms.
All those who were hospitalized have been released. The individual who made the cheese could face fines, Medus said.