A Utah man, Fidel Gomez, has been fined $500 for violation of the Utah Dairy Act, according to a report yesterday. He was fined for illegally manufacturing the cheese without a permit, and failing to label the cheese.
According to a Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Release:
Mr. Gomez came under investigation after numerous cases of Salmonella Newport were linked to queso fresco cheese, some of which was sold at a Salt Lake valley restaurant. According to the Utah Department of Health, the number of Salmonella Newport laboratory confirmed cases associated with this investigation for 2011 is 42.
Mr. Gomez was issued a Cease and Desist Order from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Division of Regulatory Services on October 12, 2011. Investigators discovered that Mr. Gomez did not have proper sanitation equipment in place and was making cheese without a license or permit
The Salt Lake Tribune report also indicated that the Salt Lake Valley Health Department continues to investigate the restaurant where the contaminated cheese was sold. “That’s where we’ll recover our costs of our investigation,” said Royal DeLegge, environmental health director at the department.