Cheese - France's Unlikely Killer


France's very own Franche-Comté region is known for fine cheese manufacturers that ship their goods to the rest of the world - we're talking about all the way from New Zealand to Northern Russia, Mexico, Peru, and back again.

Although the quality cheese produced in the Franche-Comté area is typically known for superb taste, unrivaled exquisiteness, and bring deserved of virtually every other positive adjective in the Webster-Merriam Dictionary, it's said that a handful of cheese manufacturers in the region were ultimately responsible for a deadly outbreak of salmonella back nearly three full years ago.

One might think that France's government officials were responsible for such a successful investigation, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Believe it or not, independent radio station France Inter recently came forward with such evidence, breaking news headlines around the world on Friday, April 13, 2018.

For those not familiar with the two-and-a-half-year-old salmonella outbreak, read below

Even though farmers and dairy producers can effectively yield hundreds of unique cheeses, just two cheeses - the ever-popular selections of Mont d'Or and Morbier; these are not brand names of their manufacturers, just like a salmonella outbreak propagated by Swiss cheese wouldn't be linked to manufacturers of Swiss cheese all around the globe.

Official statistics published by France's government indicate that at least ten people passed away as a direct result of eating such contaminated cheese, whereas a whopping eighty innocent people found themselves painfully, gut-wrenchingly sick following consumption of some brands of one or both kinds mentioned above - Mont d'Or and Morbier.

The long-running investigation found that five manufacturers of Mont d'Or and Morbier cheese stationed in the Franche-Comté region - it's found in the easternmost portion of the country.

Determining exactly which firm was responsible for manufacturing, packaging, and distributing such potentially-deadly cheese was virtually impossible, seeing as the region is home to a whopping 60-odd big-time manufacturers, and that's not counting all the independent locals of the area.

Despite publicly-available information suggesting a salmonella outbreak, no products were ever recalled from stores, nor were consumers warned

According to Jean-Yves Mano, chief executive of CLCV, a consumers' rights group operating in France, "[I] do not understand why a general alert was not issued by state officials, or at least information given on what precautions to take."

You and me both, Mr. Mano - but at least we now know what businesses are responsible.

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