Whether the Salmonella Newport responsible for many thousands of Salmonella illnesses in Utah originally came from raw milk, a pet lizard, or a bad egg is beside the point. Mr. Sloppy sickened thousands of people in a 6 county outbreak that persisted over the course of 3 years. He allowed the what-must-have-been-abhorrent environmental conditions to persist to the point where he was routinely contaminating cheese that went through his assembly line, which sounds like it was laid out for work on his unclean bathroom floor.
Raw milk was initially suspected of contaminating the cheese, but samples from the dairy the cheese-maker claimed supplied his operation have tested negative for Salmonella Newport, said Larry Lewis, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Investigators continue to work with the West Valley City man to determine other possible sources, but Lewis said they suspect the contamination occurred because of unsanitary conditions at the residence where the cheese was made.
Numerous health code violations prompted a cease-and-desist letter to the cheese-maker from the department on Oct. 12, Lewis said. The man’s home has also tested positive for the presence of Salmonella Newport.
“There was a lot of contamination in the home,” Lewis said.
Shall we add another name to the “food producers worthy of criminal prosecution” list?