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August 21, 2014

Health Dept. traces 25 salmonella cases to cheese dish sold on Mpls. street

Minnesota health officials have traced 25 salmonella cases to a cheese dish sold privately in Minneapolis last month.

The Health Department says the cheese in the Mexican-style queso fresco was made from unpasteurized milk. It was then apparently delivered to customers and some may have been sold on a street corner near East Lake Street.

15 of the people sickened by the cheese were hospitalized but all have recovered, the department says. The salmonella outbreak was first announced in late April, when officials knew of 13 cases.

The city of Minneapolis and the state Agriculture Department are also part of an investigation, which has traced the source of the raw milk to a farm in Dakota County.

Minnesota law allows consumers to purchase raw milk from dairy farmers for their own consumption but prohibits any further distribution or sale.

Unpasteurized milk has its advocates. Some of them cheered last fall’s acquittal of a Stearns County dairy farmer charged with violating Minnesota’s law.

The Food and Drug Administration says pasteurization removes potentially dangerous organisms from milk.