A second strain of Salmonella has been linked to Diamond Dog Food, the source of a Salmonella Infantis outbreak that has sickened 15 people in nine states over the last seven months, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the investigation into the outbreak since the beginning of April when it discovered Salmonella Infantis, the rare outbreak strain, in an unopened package of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs and prompted a recall by the company.
Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, public health investigators were able to identify the DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria and determine that the strain in the dog food was a genetic match to the one that sickened victims of the outbreak. Since then, there have been a string of related dog food recalls.
National food safety law firm Pritzker Olsen filed what may be the first lawsuit against Diamond Pet Food Processors and Costco Wholesale Corp. in connection with the outbreak this week. The suit (case number 3:12-CV-03127-JAP-LHG) was filed this week in U.S. District Court in New Jersey on behalf of an infant who was hospitalized for three days after contracting salmonellosis from the outbreak strain. The infectious dose for Salmonella is very small, especially for children. So, once it is introduced into the home environment, it poses a very significant risk no matter how carefully the tainted food is handled.
Meanwhile, test results on a sample of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice collected from a Diamond Pet Foods facility in Meta, MO are positive for a second strain of Salmonella called Salmonella Liverpool. Diamond has issued a recall for this product and health officials analyzing data to determine if the outbreak or recall needs to be expanded.