Just a head’s up regarding the cases in which tainted cheese has fueled a rise in tuberculosis. According to MSNBC:

A rare form of tuberculosis caused by illegal, unpasteurized dairy products, including the popular queso fresco cheese, is rising among Hispanic immigrants in Southern California and raising fears about a resurgence of a strain all but eradicated in the U.S.

Cases of the Mycobacterium bovis strain of TB have increased in San Diego county, particularly among children who drink or eat dairy foods made from the milk of infected cattle, a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases shows.

But the germ can infect anyone who eats contaminated fresh cheeses sold by street vendors, smuggled across the Mexican border or produced by families who try to make a living selling so-called "bathtub cheese" made in home tubs and backyard troughs.

Note that these types of "unpasteurized dairy products" are not the same as certified organic raw milk — which, although unpasteurized, is put through intensive testing to ensure its wholesomeness and to maintain the farm’s organic certification.

The problem stems from cattle in Mexico, where M. Bovis infects an estimated 17 percent of herds. In the U.S., the problem is limited to occasional outbreaks among isolated herds. Overall, the U.S. virtually eradicated the M. Bovis variety in the 1900s, Rodwell said.

Further:

Demand for Hispanic cheeses has skyrocketed in California, where 108 million pounds of legal, properly pasteurized queso fresco and other cheeses were produced last year, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. …

Officials seize illegal cheese
Agriculture officials have been cracking down on illegally produced cheese, including more than 375 pounds of so-called "bathtub cheese" seized from an open-air market in San Bernardino last year, according to Steve Lyle, the agency’s director of public affairs. Such cheeses have been found to be colonized with salmonella, listeria, E. coli and M. Bovis TB.

At any rate, a word to the wise. Read the whole article here.

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