May 28, 2024

Pig Ear Dog Treat Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 93; Multiple Strains Found

The pig ear dog treat Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 93 people in 27 states. Twenty people have been hospitalized because they are so sick.

Pig Ear Dog Treat Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 93; Multiple Strains Found

The patient case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), California (1), Colorado (2), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Illinois (6), Indiana (4), Iowa (18), Kansas (3), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (9), Minnesota (1), Missouri (5), New York (11), North Carolina (1), North Dakota (1), Ohio (5), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (3), South Carolina (1), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 90. Of 67 people who provided information to investigators, 20, or 30%, has been hospitalized. That is 50% higher than the typical percentage in Salmonella outbreaks.

In interviews, 90a% of 70 ill persons said they had contact with a dog before getting sick. Of 49 people with available information, 69% said they had contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed that item.

Moreover, more Salmonella strains, called serotypes, have been added to the investigation. People have been sickened by Salmonella Infantis, London, and Newport. Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where patients said they bought them. The pig ears were sampled, and more Salmonella strains were identified.

Because of that discovery, officials used PulseNet to find more people who were sickened with those particular strains of bacteria. So 48 more people have been added to the outbreak total.

In addition, whole genome sequencing of Salmonella isolates taken from 33 of these patients predicted antibiotic resistance or decreased susceptibility to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. If a patient needs antibiotics to treat this infection, it may be more difficult to treat.

Epidmeiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak. Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ear dog treats stocked in open bins because they may be contaminated with Salmonella on July 3, 2019. However, none of the cases in this outbreak have been linked to those particular items according to the recall notice.

People get sick from contaminated pet treats for several reasons. They don’t eat the treats themselves.

  • They handle the treats, then don’t wash their hands before eating or preparing food.
  • Their dog acquires the infection, and simply petting the dog can transfer the pathogen to the person, because the animal sheds the bacteria in their feces.
  • Their dog carries the pathogen but doesn’t show symptoms. Feces from that dog can get onto its paws, and the bacteria is tracked through the house.

If you have fed your dog these pet treats, stop. Do not give your dog these treats even if some has been eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

It’s important to remember that children are more vulnerable to this situation because they get closer to pets, and put their fingers in their mouths more often. Their immune systems are also immature and are still developing. Children under the age of 5 should not touch or eat dog food treats.

After you have discarded the treats, wash all areas where the treats were stored with hot, soapy water. And always wash your hands well with soap and water after interacting with your pet.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, chills, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after a person ingests the pathogen. Most people recover without medical treatment, but some do become so sick, through dehydration or sepsis, that they must be hospitalized. If you or anyone in your family has been sick with these symptoms, and you have a dog or have pig ear dog treats in your home, see your doctor.

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