Real Raw Milk Facts

Homemade Raw Milk Cheese Linked To Utah Salmonella Outbreak

Fox News reports that a three-year public health investigation into a salmonellosis outbreak has been traced to an unlicensed food processor dubbed "Mr. Cheese" who was making homemade "queso fresco" from raw milk. The cheese is linked to 73 illnesses in the Salt Lake City area going back to 2009.

Eleven cases were confirmed in 2009, followed by another 22 cases in 2010. As of Thursday, 40 cases had been confirmed this year.

But as many as 2,100 people may actually have had the infection, which causes nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and fever. Some may have become ill after consuming the cheese, and others could have contracted the illness by having contact with infected persons.

"We estimate the number of people sickened is 30 times the number of reported cases," DeLegge said. "That's a lot, which is why we are so concerned about it."

Authorities said the soft, Mexican-style cheese was sold to at least one Salt Lake County restaurant and may also have been sold to individual consumers from the cheese-maker's car.

"We think he had a route," DeLegge said, who said the investigation was discussed during a health department board meeting Thursday.

"Mr. Cheese" was identified last summer by authorities after an investigator for the Salt Lake County district attorney's office showed a series of photographs to a restaurant owner.

Read more:

Real Life Dangers of Raw Milk

Several families offered to share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks and negative effects on health from drinking contaminated raw milk.

Real Life Stories