Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Kane County Hispanic Grocery Stores Unpasteurized, Cotija Cheese 2006-2007

Two strains of Salmonella, Salmonella Meleagridis and a multidrug-resistant of Salmonella Newport were associated with an outbreak involving unpasteurized, cotija-style cheese. The outbreak occurred among the Hispanic community of Kane County, Illinois. The investigation showed that recent consumption of Mexican-style cheeses purchased from Hispanic grocery stores was a risk for illness. Samples from 85 patients, one sample of Mexican-style aged cheese (cotija) from a local Hispanic grocery store, and milk from a bulk tank on a local dairy farm yielded genetically matching strains of S. Newport. The cheese had been made by an unidentified, unlicensed producer. This was the first report of Salmonella isolated from an aged, rather than fresh, Mexican-style cheese. Performed correctly, the aging process was thought to inhibit pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella. The Food and Drug Administration allowed certain cheeses to be manufactured using unpasteurized milk if they were aged for at least 60 days.

  • Outbreak began:
  • March 2006
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • N/A
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Dairy, Cheese, Unpasteurized, cotija
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Private Homes
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 96
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 36
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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