Contact with some pet treats can give people salmonella

Grant Boone
July 4, 2019

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:i:- infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling pet food or treats. Infected animals can also shed Salmonella through their feces and saliva, spreading pathogens into the home environment and to humans and other animals in the household. The illness usually lasts for about a week.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is warning pet owners about possible salmonella contamination in pig ears sold as pet treats. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level, according to FDA.

The salmonella bacteria can cause symptoms to develop between 12 and 72 hours after infection.

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Forty-five people infected, including 12 hospitalizations with the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:i:- have been reported from 13 states-Iowa reporting the most cases with 12, followed by MI (7) and NY (6). Prepackaged pig ears sold in MI don't appear to be affected at this point.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Samples of the treats from those two retailers tested positive for salmonella at an MDARD lab. Samples of bagged and individually wrapped pig ears from other retail stores, however, tested negative for the bacteria.

"It's not clear why some brands of pig ears have tested positive for Salmonella and others have not". If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Keep pig ears away from small children.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

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