September 18, 2020

E. coli O157 Outbreak Linked to Carnivora Raw Pet Food in Canada

An E. coli O157 outbreak linked to Carnivora raw pet food in Canada has sickened four people in three provinces as of June 12, 2020. The outbreak is ongoing, as more illnesses continue to be reported to Public Health Agency of Canada. This is not the first time human illnesses have been linked to raw frozen pet food.

E. coli O157 Outbreak Linked to Carnivora Raw Pet Food in Canada

Exposure to Carnivora brand frozen raw pet food has been identified as the likely source of the outbreak. All of the ill persons said they were exposed to Carnivora brand frozen raw pet food or to dogs who have been fed this product, before they got sick.

The patient case count by province is: British Columbia (1), Alberta (2), and Manitoba (1). Illness onset dates range from early March and mid-May 2020. Two of the patients have been hospitalized. And the patient age range is from 3 to 43 years. The investigation began because reports of E. coli O157 illnesses with similar genetic fingerprints were identified by public health officials.

Carnivora recalled some of its frozen raw pet foods on June 12, 2020. These products all have different date codes. They are:

  • Whole Animal Chicken Dinner with Vegetables ‘n’ Fruit, Ultra Premium Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs & Cats
  • Chicken Dinner with Vegetables ‘n’ Fruit
  • Whole Animal Beef Dinner with Vegetables ‘n’ Fruit, Ultra Premium Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs & Cats
  • Beef Dinner with Vegetables ‘n’ Fruit
  • Whole Animal Turkey Diet, Ultra Premium Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs & Cats
  • Turkey Diet

Those Carnivora frozen raw pet foods were sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. They may also have been sold in other provinces or territories.

If you have any of these products, don’t feed it to your pet. Throw the food away in a sealed container, or take it back to the place of purchase for a refund.

The Public Health Agency of Canada does not recommend feeding raw pet food to pets. If you have a young child, an elderly person, a pregnant woman, or someone with a chronic illness in your household this advice is been more important. If you still choose to feed a raw food diet, buy only from companies that use meat that has passed inspection for human consumption. Even that is no guarantee, since there have been serious foodborne illness outbreaks linked to meat produced for human consumption.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157 infection include nausea, a mild fever, headache, vomiting, severe and painful stomach cramps, and watery or bloody diarrhea. These symptoms usually start one to ten days after exposure. Some people become seriously ill with this infection and may need to be hospitalized. Children under the age of five can develop a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. If anyone in your household is experiencing these symptoms, take them to a doctor.

 

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