The Scott County Health Department is asking people who may have purchased head cheese that originated in New Hamburg to discard it for fear it may be contaminated with salmonella.

According to a health department news release, a public health investigation has determined that there may be a risk of salmonella contamination associated with the consumption of head cheese produced and distributed at a private residence in mid-November in New Hamburg.

Health department administrator Barry Cook said the department has few specifics, but is trying to get word to people who may have some of the head cheese in their possession. He also asks those who have shown symptoms of salmonella contamination after consuming the head cheese to contact the department. Symptoms of salmonella contamination include diarrhea, cramping, fever, nausea, vomiting and headache.

Head cheese is a product made from meat pieces of the head of a calf or pig and combined with spices. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature. Thorough cooking kills salmonella bacteria, but since head cheese isn’t cooked, the bacteria stays in the product.

Those in possession of the head cheese or those who have symptoms of salmonella poisoning are urged to call the health department at 573-471-4044.