A Salmonella outbreak in British Columbia has been linked to raw dog food, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. Four people who feed their pets raw dog food have been sickened by the same strain of Salmonella, according to the agency.
The BC Centre for Disease Control is working with BC health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada to investigate the outbreak.
Raw pet food contains raw animal proteins like meat, bones, organs, and eggs. Raw meats often contain bacteria that can lead to illness in people.
Illness can occur by handling the raw product and then not adequately washing hands before eating, drinking or preparing food. Animals can also be carriers of Salmonella, but show no signs of illness.
Health officials remind everyone to wash their hands immediately after handling raw pet food or raw meat, after handling or cleaning up after their pet, and before touching anything else.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically start six to 72 hours after exposure and last about a week. They include: stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.