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Cheese Seizures in News

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October 24, 2007 5:19pm

375 pounds of illegal cheese seized
'A significant find'

A Southern California couple is facing criminal charges after allegedly being caught with 375 pounds of "bathtub" cheese at an open-air market in San Bernardino County, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says. The illegal soft cheese products are known to cause serious illness such as listeria, salmonella or E. coli.
Floribel Hernandez Cuenca, 29, and Manuel Martin Sanchez Garrido, 44, of Montclair, were arrested for selling a variety of unlicensed cheeses to the public. Ms. Cuenca was also arrested on felony cheese making charges. The 375 pounds of seized illegal cheese included panela, queso fresco and queso oxaca varieties, the CDFA says. It was a significant find, the department says. "Illegally produced is cheese is serious threat to public health," says CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura.
Unlicensed products may carry a bigger price tag than consumers expect: the risk of severe illness, the state says.
Infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible. Expectant mothers should be especially guarded, as the listeria organism can cause miscarriages.

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Originally on www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com

Comments on this story

Sharon 10/25/07 10:28 AM (smammel@hotmail.com) Bathtubs are for but and not making cheese

Bill Jones 10/27/07 7:03 AM Just doing jobs Americans won't do.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers 10/27/07 9:46 AM I wonder what the risk actually is, though. We're told that buying pharmaceuticals through Canada carries a risk too but many believe it's actually a way to protect the big drug companies via scare tactics. French cheese regulations are a lot less stringent then we have here and importing certain French cheeses is thus prohibited in this country. Is life less precious in Old Europe?

Brian Rakita 10/27/07 12:51 PM The article states: "The illegal soft cheese products are known to cause serious illness such as listeria, salmonella or E. coli." The truth is, these problems are much more likely to occur from lage scale, inspected operations. Would somebody please point out the last time an e. coli, salmonila, or lestiria outbreak has been traced to ANY small producer, licenced or unlicenced.

dmikulec 10/27/07 1:09 PM I have to agree with the above poster, and say that the only reason this is being strictly enforced is to protect the multinationals. Homemade cheese exists around the world, tastes better, and doesn't have all the chemical crap added to it. This "bust" is much ado about nothing.

TarnFeathers 10/27/07 1:17 PM This article is a flat out lie. Do some research about cheese making. Oh lord no, if this were actually true France would be as barren as the moon.

Adam Geldersma 10/27/07 1:17 PM Ewwwww, I like cheese, but not cheese someone made in their used bathtub. I prefer my chese to not have come into contact with someone(s) butt.

Wesley 10/27/07 1:20 PM Kramer did this on Seinfeld, and there were no problems. What's with all the germophobes?

Ransom 10/27/07 1:26 PM This is just one symptom of a greater problem. In the coming decades, America is going to have to decide if it's going to a hypermilitarized nanny state, or return to a free nation-one where consenting adults can smoke pot or tobacco, move where and when they want, and (I can't believe this is an issue) making cheese. Freaking *cheese*. For pity's sake, it's JUST CHEESE!! Kawamura can take his "serious threat to public health," and cram it, hard.

Power of Cheese 10/27/07 1:41 PM I can see health concerns of home made cheese if it was made in an unsterilized environment but what if it was made according to code. the CDFA and USDFA have people that work for the Dairy, Food, and Agriculture industry and get millions per year from such companies. These agencies are really only interested in protecting the interests of this industry such as the Ag farmers than the public. If the Cheese was actually made in an unclean environment than this goes down as a minority of the help that we get from such agencies.

Tom Whipple 10/27/07 1:44 PM I suspect that the most significant cause of this arrest is the word 'unlicensed.' Cheese isn't made in the bathtub, and these particular cheeses are pretty easy to make. I do think that inspections of their facilities are in order, but if the cheeses came out tasting right I think it unlikely that there were other bacteria involved besides the ones that were supposed to be involved. If your cheese goes bad you know it.

Brian Rakita 10/27/07 2:04 PM Adam said: "Ewwwww, I like cheese, but not cheese someone made in their used bathtub. I prefer my chese to not have come into contact with someone(s) butt." I would bet dollars to cents that the word "bathtub" in this case is used as a synonym for "home made" and has nothing to do with cheese production in a bathing facility.

Koshka 10/27/07 2:05 PM The most radical thing you can do is make food or buy from those who do.

Ursusmeritimus 10/27/07 2:20 PM "felony cheese making"? who ever heard of such a thing. could there possibily be to many controls and laws, hmmm

Gary 10/27/07 2:48 PM I've been known to do some pretty nasty cheese cutting, but never cheese making.

Barney Fife 10/27/07 5:07 PM Great work, men! The last thing we need is Terrorist Cheese invading honest American crackers! This is the kind of law enforcement that made this country great. Now, let's go after those evil kids selling homemade lemonade on the sidewalk, and those dastardly mothers peddling homemade cookies at the Little League snack bar. Buy all your food from national factories or the terrorists win! Can I put my bullet in?

CarolG 10/27/07 6:02 PM Where is the editor of this joint? Calling this "bathtub" cheese: a little too colorful and stinks of your opinion. Stick to "unlicensed" and you'll be doing the job.

mrGreg 10/27/07 9:19 PM Used bathtub or not... If I'm not mistaken, "cheese making" is a process that could easily go wrong if harmful bacteria became involved. It's quite a bit different from kids having a lemonade stand.

chuck 10/27/07 9:53 PM what is wrong with our society today ! 100 years ago millons made cheese this way and was sold and the human race is still here . we are animals and no food is 100% safe no matter what you do to it we are mortal and can die .

Tiger Yorktown 10/28/07 3:41 AM This is just stupid and a waste of taxpayer's money. Instead of arresting these people they should have just made them aware and required them to get the necessary licenses to make the cheese legally. Now we are going to bust everyone who tries to start a small business on a technicality. The disease excuse by officials is cheesy at best. I guess the next thing they will do is bust every little Kentucky Beer Chjeese maker in Kentucky. This is why so many people are afraid of their government. The very people that are supposed to protect us go to great lengthes to proscecute people for ridiculous crimes - and don't go after the real criminals. When is the last time you were robbed and a policofficer actually took fingerprints? They don't care. No, lets go after home made cheese. Stupid.

nohick 10/28/07 6:15 AM This is complete bull**** just like every other law that doesn't allow people to produce their own food. You aren't allowed to sell unpasteurized milk either or make your own whiskey in small amounts or grow hemp. It is agribusiness raping the small farmer. It's OK to buy Chinese poisoned foods approved by the same FDA but not OK to buy a small farmer's product. **** the FDA and GWBush.