El Dorado County health officials joined the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in warning consumers not to eat cashew cheese products manufactured by The Cultured Kitchen because the products may be contaminated with salmonella. Local health officials are collaborating with CDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in this multistate outbreak investigation. As of Jan. 2, 12 cases of illnesses have been reported in California with four occurring in El Dorado County. No deaths have been reported.
The Cultured Kitchen of West Sacramento has initiated a voluntary recall of all flavors of its cashew cheese products with expiration dates on or before April 19, 2014, due to the risk of contamination with Salmonella. The products were sold in natural food stores throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada, including in El Dorado County, and at farmers markets in Sacramento County.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. To prevent the spread of illness, individuals with symptoms are advised to not prepare food for others. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications and require hospitalization. Infants, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for severe illness.
El Dorado County health officials recommend that consumers discard or return any of these recalled products. Additionally, anyone experiencing any ill effects after eating these products should consult with their health care provider as well as the El Dorado County Public Health Division, Communicable Disease Section at 530-621-6320. Healthcare providers should inform Public Health of any associated case, whether confirmed or suspected. For more information, please visit edcgov.us/publichealth.