Salmonella From Illegal Cheese Strikes Chicagoland

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning in our homeland of Kane County, IL (Hey, there Elgin…) has been linked to an illegal cheese making operation. From WMAQ:

Kane County health officials said Thursday that cheese may be causing a salmonella outbreak that has made at least 20 people sick.

They urge consumers to throw out all Mexican-style white cheese purchased in Kane County, especially unlabeled packages bought in stores or from street vendors.

Health officials matched the salmonella to cheese after testing the product at a Hispanic grocery store in Aurora.

“We have uncovered an illegal cheese manufacturing and distribution operation,” said Paul Kuehnert with the county Health Department.

Officials speculate someone may be making the cheese at home with unpasteurized milk.

Mom! Dad! Throw the cheese out! —MEGHANN MARCO

Salmonella Outbreak Traced To Illegal Cheese Operation
[NBC 5 Chicago via Chicagoist]
(Photo: equality)


Edit Your Comment

  1. patoco12 says:

    Ack! Who buys cheese from a street vendor?

  2. jacques says:

    Go Cougars!

  3. mopar_man says:

    Was this a random street vendor or a farmer’s market type of thing? Usually those markets are pretty decent but just some shady vendor set up in an alley would probably make me pretty skeptical about buying ANYTHING from him, let alone a food product.

  4. Hexum2600 says:

    Ahhh the unexpected side effects of unlabeled Mexican Style Cheese. Don’t drink the water? Don’t eat the cheese…

  5. hemaphore says:

    which is worse:

    illegal cheese?
    or guv’ment cheese?

  6. juri squared says:

    I am so proud my town made Consumerist. Really, I am. Nothing like an illegal cheese sting to make us stand out.

    *sits back and waits for obligatory Wayne’s World references*

  7. olegna says:

    I like buying cheese on the street. In Mexico you get great Oaxacan string cheese from the back of trucks. (Did it for five years, never got sick. Ate Chinese food in the Upper West Side of Manhattan , was laid out for two-days with food poisoning unaware at how uncontrollably LOUD once can be while retching up bad-meat dumplings, and also unable to even smell peanut sauce ever again.) Most Americans would be horrified to walk into the average chic French cheese shop. The French say Americans murder their food.

    That said: that white farmer’s cheese that’s popular in Latin America and the Middle East (not goat cheese, but a very wet basic milk cheese) is kinda gross — except for lightly crumbled over refried beans — and goes bad quickly. I don’t touch it.

  8. gardencat says:

    I’m glad I haven’t eaten this brand of cheese. I have been poisoned enough from the Peter Pan peanut butter.

  9. jpcnyc says:

    This site is great, and this article definitely informative, but I have an issue with this post, specifically the picture. Using this particular picture, which is strongly associated to a particular brand of cheese (and not the one being commented on) under the headline containing the words “Salmonella” and “Illegal” is unfair to that brand. I really enjoy the posts and the associated pictures, but this one struck me as borderline brand image/word association slander.

  10. timmus says:

    What’s with that packaging? That cow looks like some sort of freaky anthropomorph of a dude on PCP!

  11. superlayne says:

    Is that a parody of the Skinny Cow cheese things? I love that cheese…Individually wrapped in plastic AND wax…

    That’s not the tainted stuff, is it?

  12. gardencat says:


    At least he doesn’t appear to be a mad cow with a disease.

  13. kimsama says:

    @timmus: That’s “La vache qi ri,” the laughing cow. It looks slightly less scary when its smile isn’t turned upside down.

    I loves me some vache qui ri. For years, that was the only reliably available cheese in Vietnam.

  14. Nicholai says:

    illegal cheese? Am I the only person that thinks that’s strange?

  15. OnceWasCool says:

    Chit Cheese

  16. Somehow I’m not surprised there’s an illegal Mexican cheese market in my hometown. There is an illegal everything in Aurora.

  17. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @darkblast93: No, you’re most certainly not. I’ve been trying to come up with some gag about the street value of illicit cheese (what do you get in a dime bag?) but I’ve been stymied. Who knew there was such a flourishing black market for dairy products?

  18. Coronagold says:

    That has got to be the creepiest drawing of a cow I ever did done see. The artist obviously knows how to draw, look at the background elements. Why the drama queen expression?

  19. IC18 says:

    When I saw the picture of the cow, I remembered the cheese my parents sometimes buy from a local Meijer supermarket here in Michigan. Its called the laughing cow, its been around for as long as I can remember, I think its originaly from some french company. Anyhows this article is not related to that brand is it? I’ll call my parents and have them dump it just in case.

  20. Uurp says:

    Jeez, can’t you just drive up to Wisconsin to satisfy your cheezerection?

  21. @jurijuri: ‘So there, I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o’clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn’t go on stage that night.

    So, Jeff Beck pops his head ’round the door, and mentions there’s a little sweets shop on the edge of town. So – we go. And – it’s closed.

    So there’s me, and Keith Moon, and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweets shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they’ve got this bloody great big Bengal tiger.

    I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shopkeeper and his son… that’s a different story altogether.

    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes.

    Nasty business, really, but sure enough I got the M&Ms, and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.’