The CDC has issued its final update on the Salmonella Infantis outbreak linked to dry dog food. Forty nine people, including 47 in 20 states and two people in Canada, have been infected with the outbreak strain.
The number of ill persons in each state are: Alabama (2), Arkansas (2), California (3), Connecticut (2), Georgia (2), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Missouri (3), New Jersey (2), New York (5), North Carolina (5), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (3), South Carolina (2), Texas (1), and Virginia (2). Public health officials have interviewed 24 people; of those, 10, or 42%, have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The outbreak has been linked to dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at their facility in Gaston, South Carolina. The CDC has collected information for pet owners and for veterinarians relating to this outbreak. Food Poisoning Bulletin has been keeping you up to date on this outbreak since it was first announced on May 4, 2012, and when a second strain of Salmonella was found in the dog food.
As we’ve told you before, once a pathogenic bacteria is in the home, it is almost impossible to completely prevent cross-contamination. That’s why it’s illegal to produce some foods contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. Once a food product has made someone sick, it is illegal to sell that product.
Anyone who gets sick with this bacteria is not to blame for their infection. Pathogenic bacteria are odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the eye. And the infectious dose is extremely small.
Since dogs can carry Salmonella without appearing sick themselves, and can easily shed the bacteria, if your dog ate this food he could infect your family without your knowledge. The bacteria could be on the dog’s coat or paws. It’s not possible to clean an animal well enough to remove bacteria.
The long term effects of foodborne illness can be serious and costly. It’s important that anyone affected by this outbreak see their health care provider and receive follow-up visits to check for complications, including reactive arthritis and heart disease.