crimesider

Say "bad cheese": Food contamination leads to criminal prosecution

42,000 pounds of Muenster, or a lifetime's worth of grilled cheese sandwich filling, was stolen from a Wisconsin factory in March. State police apprehended a suspect in the cheesy caper while he was driving a refrigerated truck in New Jersey. The stolen merchandise was valued at $200,000. Read more: Cheesy crime: Ill man allegedly stole 21 tons of Muenster cheese iStockphoto

Something doesn't smell right to federal prosecutors in Chicago who indicted four people for distributing contaminated cheese
istockphoto
(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Bad cheese is bad news even under the best of circumstances, but this is a case of criminally bad cheese (allegedly).

Prosecutors have indicted four people they say ignored U.S. Food and Drug Administration orders and distributed more than 110,000 pounds of imported Mexican cheese contaminated with salmonella, E. coli and other potentially harmful bacteria.

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says the suspects even scraped mold and fungus off 35- and 40-pound wheels of the Mexican cheese that unhappy customers had returned so they could be resold.

(That really is bad)

Prosecutors said there's no evidence anyone became ill eating the cheese.

A Wisconsin company distributing the products under the name Queso Cincho De Guerrero to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia and Texas issued a recall in 2007.

To cover up the distribution, the defendants allegedly sent false documentation to the FDA. They're charged with violating food safety laws.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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