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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Jul 6;50(26):560-2.

Outbreak of listeriosis associated with homemade Mexican-style cheese--North Carolina, October 2000-January 2001.


On November 13, 2000, health-care providers at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, contacted the local health department about three cases of listeriosis within a 2-week period in recent Mexican immigrants. The North Carolina General Communicable Disease Control Branch, in collaboration with the Forsyth County Health Department, the North Carolina Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and Environment and Natural Resources, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and CDC investigated this outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. This report summarizes the results of the investigation, which implicated noncommercial, homemade, Mexican-style fresh soft cheese produced from contaminated raw milk sold by a local dairy farm as the causative agent. Culturally appropriate education efforts are important to reduce the risk for L. monocytogenes transmission through Mexican-style fresh soft cheese.

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