FDA Warning: Tons of Contaminated Cheese Sold in Florida, Texas, California, New York

Yesterday Chuck Strouse over at our sister paper, Miami New Times reported on what may be one of the largest cheese busts in history: 85 tons of staph infected cheese were found festering in Miami's Lacteos Factory. The feds ordered the return of the cheese, and the U.S. Attorney's Office made arrests.

Today, Strouse updated his report to include Texas as one of the possible recipients of the contaminated cheese, and that the FDA has issued a warning, pasted below in its entirety, concerning cheese that may have already entered the stream of commerce. It describes the type of packages, the brands, and where to call if you find any of the bad cheese.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Food and Drug Administration Florida District 555 Winderley Place Suite 200 Maitland, Florida 32751 Telephone: 407-475-4700 FAX: 407-475-4768 Nationwide Consumer Warning: Contaminated Cheese The Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers not to purchase or consume Naturally Aged White Cheese, Dry Cheese, or Hard Dry Cheese manufactured by Lacteos Nueva Guinea, Empalme El Verdun Nueva Guinea Raas, Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua. Products were imported and distributed by The Lacteos Factory, Miami, FL 33142. The Lacteos Factory, Miami, FL 33142 is believed to have distributed the cheese products to retail stores in Florida, Texas, California, and New York, between January 2010 and April 2010 in 1 lb clear plastic vacuum bags. The product labeling does not contain a product code or expiration date. FDA laboratory analysis has confirmed the products to be adulterated with Staphylococcus aureus (Staph). Staph infections can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, headache and muscle cramping. The greatest health risk is to the very young, the very old, and those with compromised immune systems. No illnesses are known to be associated with the products at this time. Retail grocery stores are asked to check and remove any products labeled as The Lacteos Factory or Lacteos Nueva Guinea White, Dry, or Hard Cheese products from their inventory. Consumers are advised to dispose of any products of this type in their possession. If they are experiencing adverse health problems from the consumption of these products, they should promptly contact a physician. FDA requests consumers and physicians to report adverse events to FDA's MEDWATCH 1-800-332-1088.

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