At least 15 people in the western U.S. have been sickened with Salmonella in an outbreak linked to pasteurized cashew cheese produced by The Cultured Kitchen, according to the California Department of Public Health. Three patients have been hospitalized. Of the 15 who became ill, 12 reside in California. The company has initiated a voluntary recall on its cashew cheese products with expiration dates on or before April 19, 2014. The products were sold in natural food stores in northern California and northern Nevada, as well as at farmers markets in Sacramento County. The products were sold in eight-ounce plastic containers in the following flavors: herb, smoked cheddar, pepper jack, habañero cilantro lime, basil pesto and white cheddar. Cashew cheese is a non-dairy vegan alternative to milk-based cheese. Any customers still in possession of recalled cheese products are encouraged to discard them or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.