Illinois Salmonella Cases Linked to Unlabeled Mexican-Style Cheese

Illinois Department of Public Health working to identify the manufacturer of the contaminated cheese

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    The Illinois Department of Public Health issued a warning Thursday saying 100 people have contracted salmonella linked to illegally manufactured Mexican-style cheeses.

    Health departments in Cook, DuPage, Boone, Fayette, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Vermillion, Washington and Will counties have reported about 100 cases of salmonella believed to be associated with the cheese since July 2012, according to a statement from the department.

    IDPH is working to identify the manufacturer of the contaminated cheese, according to the statement.

    Many cases have reported consuming Mexican-style cheese obtained from worksites, including factories, and at train stations, from street vendors and from relatives and friends, the statement said. The cheese is not labeled and is often wrapped in aluminum foil.

    “It is important for you to check the labeling to make sure the product was made by a licensed dairy manufacturer — even if you purchased the cheese from a grocery store,” IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said in the statement.

    Most people who contract salmonella can recover on their own within five days, but the infection can be more serious in young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, according to the statement.