If you love Latin American cheese then you should read this article. Officials are warning the public that due to the lax regulations on cheese in Latin America, there has been an outbreak of bacteria that could be harmful if eaten. This is due to the fact that the milk is unpasteurized and left vulnerable to the colonization of bacteria. In order to stop the sale of this potentially harmful product, L.A. officials are searching out all unlicensed vendors.
“With unlicensed dairy products, you cannot be sure of what you’re getting,” health officer Jonathan E. Fielding said in a statement. “They may contain unpasteurized milk, have been made in unsanitary conditions, and may have been transported without refrigeration. This is a recipe for disaster, as harmful bacteria in these products can be dangerous to your health and safety.”
Here are some tips from health officials:
Avoid dairy products with missing or incomplete labels. Labels should provide safe handling and storage information, a list of all the ingredients, including “pasteurized milk,” and identify the manufacturer responsible for the product.
Cheese products should be factory sealed.
Buy cheese from the refrigerated section of the market.
Do not purchase cheese from unlicensed manufacturers, unlicensed vendors at swap meets, door-to-door vendors, or on the street (source).
These tips may seem like normal things to look for when buying food products however, in this economy, people are looking for ways to cut back on the cost of practically everything! It’s important that cutting cost doesn’t mean that you end up getting sick over something as simple packaging and refrigeration.