Health officials in Chile have reported a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 60 people.
So far, 66 people have been affected by the outbreak resulting from eating goat’s cheese in the Metropolitan Region.
Overall, 28 cases have been reported in the Valparaíso Region and 38 in the Metropolitan Region, including seven hospitalizations.
Epidemiological work identified a producer of cheese who informally sold contaminated products in different parts of the province via commercial premises and the area of Llay Llay. Authorities have stopped cheese production.
Officials said the producer and distributor sold the product in different outlets despite not having the required health resolution and documentation. They urged vendors not to buy products from such processors.
Gonzalo Soto Brandt, the Secretaria Regional Ministerial de Salud (Seremi de Salud) of the Metropolitan Region, called on people who had bought the affected goat cheese to dispose of it to avoid possible food poisoning.
Soto said it was essential that people who consumed goat cheese always verified that the authorities had approved it and that it was purchased in an established place. He added that the risk of food poisoning increases during the warmer spring-summer season because of higher temperatures.
In 2023, 163 outbreaks were reported in the Metropolitan region, affecting 881 people, and 60 had to be hospitalized.
FAO work in Chile
Meanwhile, Chile has become the first country in Latin America to implement a food control system assessment with help from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The initiative, led by the Chilean Food Safety and Quality Agency (ACHIPIA), aims to improve strategic planning and strengthen governance around food safety.
The launch event for the “Evaluación del sistema de control de los alimentos de Chile” took place in Santiago in December.
As part of the project, a team of food safety experts from FAO will work with local authorities for food safety and relevant stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the national food control system and develop a strategy to improve the country’s public health and economic development.
The FAO team will assist authorities through the eight-month process, which will develop a set of recommendations and a framework to facilitate their implementation.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)