Health

Contact with some pet treats can give people salmonella

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Pig ear pet treats suspected in 13-state outbreak 45 people sick
By Dan Flynn

"Pet owners should consider the possibility of Salmonella contaminating pig ear products before feeding them to their pets".

"It's not clear why some brands of pig ears have tested positive for Salmonella and others have not".

Unfortunately, other tests revealed that the strain responsible for the outbreak is resistant to several antibiotics, potentially making it more hard to treat.

It is working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on an investigation of a possible link between the products and Salmonella. Officials from the department then tested the products to check for the Salmonella outbreak strain. Investigators are checking to see if any human illnesses are linked to those strains. "As an added precaution, pet owners should wash their hands after handling pig ears", said Jeffrey Zimmer, acting director of MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. Among the 34 individuals, 17 said they had come into contact with pig ear dog treats or animals who were given these treats.

People were also told not to use their pet's feeding bowl to scoop the food, and to instead use a clean, dedicated scoop.

Always follow any storage instructions on pet food bags or containers.

Don't let your pet lick your mouth or face after it eats pet food or treats.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected pig ear dog treats from retailers that were reported to have bought the products from.

"Young children are at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths", the agency noted.

Children younger than 5 years old should not touch or eat pet food or treats.

Some dogs may have Salmonella infection but may not look sick. The CDC warns that the number of reported illnesses could rise because it usually takes people a few weeks to report their illness after becoming ill.

Animals with salmonella may also seem more exhausted than usual and may have a fever or vomit. Half (50%) of ill people are female.

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