Raw milk cheese still risky – even in France

Raw milk cheeses are commonly consumed in France and are also a common source of foodborne outbreaks (FBOs). Both a FBO surveillance system and a laboratory-based surveillance system aim to detect Salmonella outbreaks.

In early August 2018 5 familial FBOs due to Salmonella spp. were reported to a regional health authority. Investigation identified common exposure to a raw goats’ milk cheese, from which Salmonella spp. were also isolated, leading to an international product recall. Three weeks later, on 22 August, a national increase in Salmonella Newport ST118 was detected through laboratory surveillance. Concomitantly isolates from the earlier familial clusters were confirmed as S. Newport ST118. Interviews with a selection of the laboratory identified cases revealed exposure to the same cheese, including exposure to batches not included in the previous recall, leading to an expansion of the recall. The outbreak affected 153 cases, including 6 cases in Scotland. S. Newport was detected in the cheese and in milk of one of the producer’s goats.

The difference in the two alerts generated by this outbreak highlight the timeliness of the FBO system and the precision of the laboratory-based surveillance system. It is also a reminder of the risks associated with raw milk cheeses.

Outbreak of salmonella Newport associated with internationally distributed raw goats’ milk cheese, France, 2018, 04 May 2020

Epidemiology & Infection pp.1-23

Robinson(a1)(a2)M. Travanut (a3)L. Fabre (a4)S. Larréché (a5)L. Ramelli (a6)L. Pascal (a6)A. Guinard (a7)N. Vincent (a8)C. Calba (a8)L. Meurice (a9)MA. Le Thien (a10)E. Fourgere (a10)G. Jones (a1)N. Fournet (a1)A. Smith Palmer (a11)D. Brown (a12)S. Le Hello (a4)M. Pardos de la Gandara (a4)FX. Weill (a4) and N. Jourdan Da Silva (a

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268820000904


2 dead, 14 sick from Salmonella in Germany

Joe Whitworth of Food Navigator reports Germany has seen a significant increase in Salmonella Stourbridge infection that has not been identified but a past outbreak was linked to unpasteurized goat cheese.

The first case was in July and the most recent had disease onset in late October.

Nine of the 13 cases with available information have been hospitalised and two males have died.

El Paso man ill eating raw milk goat cheese from unlicensed food vendor

City health officials are warning the public to avoid eating unpasteurized cheese after an El Paso man was hospitalized with brucellosis.

raw.milk.goat.cheeseHealth officials said the man, who is in his 60s, ate goat cheese that was purchased from an unlicensed food vendor, and became ill with a fever, joint pain and fatigue.

“We want our residents to keep in mind that purchasing food from an illegal vendor can be very dangerous. One should assume all cheese sold on the street is unpasteurized,” said Robert Resendes, public health director.

E. coli O26: goat’s cheese withdrawn in Belgium

The goat’s cheese product Crottins de Chavignol has been withdrawn from sale in Luxembourg following the discovery of Escherichia coli O26 H11 pathogens in different batches of the product.

Crottin_de_ChavignolThe Organisation for Security and Quality of the Food Chain (OSQCA) was informed by the RASFF European rapid alert system of a product recall regarding the dairy H. TRIBALLAT, situated in France, with the identification number FR 18.194.050 CE, due to the presence of a pathogenic strain – Escherichia coli O26 H11 – in different batches of Chavignol cheeses also distributed to Luxembourg.

All the products distributed to various European countries have the same FR 18.194.050 CE identification number.

The cheeses are sold at various major retailers in Luxembourg which have already been informed of this consumer recall. Stores concerned immediately withdred the cheeses concerned from the market. 

Cooking Pizza to 165F

As we all recover from the flu, our appetites are only mediocre. In the spirit of things, I cooked an Archer Farms spinach and goat cheese pizza for dinner tonight. I added olives because that’s one of the few things Sorenne currently loves. When looking at the cooking time and temp I noticed detailed directions that seem straight from this blog:

"For food safety, cook to an internal temperature of 165F as measured with a food thermometer.

Ovens vary: adjust baking time accordingly. Refrigerate or discard leftovers immediately."

This prompted me to play 100 questions with Doug, which he enjoys.

Me: "There’s no meat on this pizza. Is 165 the temperature for killing salmonella?" 

Doug: "Yes."

Me: "How do I put a thermometer in a pizza?"

Doug: "Do you think mere mortals know where to put it? Why don’t you try it?"

So I did (exactly as pictured). After cooking the pizza at 400F for about 18 minutes, I took it out and tried to eye the thickest part. Then I tried to put the thermometer in somewhat sideways being careful not to poke through the other side. To take the picture, I had to prop the thermometer on my spatula. The process made a big gash in my pizza toppings and the cheese stuck like glue on the thermometer, but it was easy to see the pizza was well above 165F.

The pizza was tasty but the outside crust overly crunchy and the inner crust still a bit soggy. Sorenne picked off the olives and ate them all, and I enjoyed a Boulevard Nutrcracker Seasonal Ale with mine.