A child became seriously ill after eating homemade cheese that was illegally sold door-to-door, the Washoe County Health District announced today. Officials at the health district confirmed that the unidentified child tested positive for a case of the food-borne illness Campylobacter, which causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, fever, nausea and vomiting. The homemade cheese, also known as “Mexican Bathtub Cheese,” is usually made in homes without following required local and federal food safety standards, health officials said. They warned residents not to buy any foodstuff from unlicensed food vendors.
Unpasteurized dairy products may be contaminated with Campylobacter, according to the health district. Because queso fresco is made with unpasteurized milk in unsanitary and unlicensed facilities, it poses a serious health threat to consumers, particularly the elderly, young, pregnant women, and people who have weakened immune systems. Although it has not been determined if the cheese that made the child sick was made locally, it is being sold door-to-door in the Truckee Meadows throughout Hispanic communities, health officials said.