FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Health officials are now warning the public to avoid consuming Mexican-style cheeses made by unlicensed manufacturers.
The Health and Human Services Agency said eight Salmonella cases have been reported in Tulare County that are part of a larger cluster of state-wide cases being investigated by the California Department of Public Health.
Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught said, "The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified that the most common risk factor with these cases of Salmonella is illegally manufactured Mexican-style soft cheeses. These cheeses are often made in unsanitary conditions with raw, unpasteurized milk and are often, but not always, sold by street vendors."
According to the CDPH, in addition to the eight cases in Tulare County, three other patients traveled to, or consumed unpasteurized cheese purchased in Tulare County.
Salmonella causes fever, abdominal cramps, and possible bloody diarrhea. Symptoms may lessen after four to seven days; however, some individuals may develop complications that require hospitalization. Those most at risk for severe illness include infants, the elderly, and those with immune system deficiencies.