Health Matters – Dog food linked to Salmonella infections in 14 people

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Dog food linked to Salmonella infections in 14 people

 ANALYSIS:  Dr. Don Donahue, Director, Firestorm Healthcare Response Team

SUMMARY:  Contaminated dog food has been linked to 14 human illnesses in the U.S., Dow Jones Newswires reported.  No, the people weren’t eating the pet food contaminated with a rare strain of salmonella, rather, the germs can be spread to pet owners through the handling of contaminated food, improper hand-washing or through the pets’ stool.  Salmonella germs can be shed from the stool for 4-to-6 weeks after a pet is infected.

Related Wall Street Journal Article

ANALYSIS:  The public health and personal safety message in this week’s news comes straight from Robert Fulghum’s 1990 poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Watch a group of five year-old children in an organized setting and you will notice they are constantly doing one thing.  As Fulghum said, “Wash your hands before you eat.” And after walking the dog or feeding the cat, frequently while preparing a meal, and randomly during the day…….

Your hands are the primary source of physical connectivity between your eyes and mouth and the outside world, as well as to other parts of your own body.

Few would eat something off the floor, yet who would think twice about taking off footwear then having a bite?
The same germs that inhabit that rug are likely on your shoes as well.  For some reason, we do not make that correlation.

The simple act of hand washing reduces transmission of illness-causing microbes.  Unless you are amazingly diligent, it is likely you will miss a product recall; the flow of information in today’s society is simply too great to always follow.

The irony is a simple act you probably learned in the first days of school can keep you healthy and allow you to enjoy another of Fulghum’s observations:  “Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.”

And keep the pet food away from small children and toddlers!


Recall Information from the FDA


May 9, 2012

Diamond Pet Foods has expanded its recall of some brands of dry dog and cat food manufactured in its Gaston, South Carolina facility between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The FDA, CDC and state and local officials are collaborating to investigate cases of human illness linked to some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at the South Carolina facility.

Consumers should check the company’s website, Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information disclaimer icon, for information on how to read lot codes and “best by” dates involved in the recall, as well as specific states where the following products were distributed:

  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
  • Country Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Apex (distributed only in the state of South Carolina)
  • Kirkland Signature
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain
  • Canidae

Several other companies with products manufactured at the Gaston, S.C. facility have issued voluntary recalls, since some of their products were produced at the Gaston facility during the time frame of the recalls and have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Those companies include:

Diamond Pet Foods continues to work directly with distributors and retailers where the recalled products are carried to remove them as quickly as possible from the marketplace. FDA will provide updates on the recall and the investigation as new information becomes available. Complete information on the recalled products, including photos, lot numbers, and distribution information on each is located at Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information disclaimer icon.

May 3, 2012

Since their initial recall on April 6, 2012, Diamond Pet Foods has voluntarily expanded that recall to include three of their dry dog food products. Diamond Pet Foods is cooperating with FDA and with state and local public health and agricultural officials in this ongoing investigation.

The recalled products were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The company is working directly with distributors and retailers that carry these products to remove them as quickly as possible from the marketplace.

Advice to Consumers

Consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products. Do not feed recalled products to your pet and do not handle the pet food.  Follow the tips listed at FDA’s Safe Handling Tips for Pet Foods and Treats.

Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like a replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods at 800-442-0402, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or visit Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information disclaimer icon.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten recalled dry pet food should consult their health care provider. Infants, older adults and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state, or electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.


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