May 5, 2012

Contaminated Pet Food Sickens 14 People In 9 States

At least 14 people have fallen ill, including five who were hospitalized, as a result of salmonella-contaminated dog food, AFP and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday.

According to the WSJ Staff, the dry dog-food products in question were produced by Diamond Pet Foods, who have issued a recall of the tainted products. The varieties affected by the recall are Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula, Diamond Puppy Formula and Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover´s Soul Adult Light Formula.

Illnesses have been reported in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and no deaths have yet been reported. The food was contaminated with a rare strain of salmonella which can be spread from pets to their owners through handling of the food, improper hand-washing, or via the animals' manure, an FDA spokesperson told the Journal.

"The dog food was produced at a single manufacturing plant in South Carolina," Mary Rothschild of Food Safety News wrote in a May 14 article, adding that a report from CDC officials did not mention how many pets had fallen ill due to the contamination, but that in recall notices, the company reports that "no dog illnesses" had been reported.

A list of affected products is available at the Diamond Pet Foods website.

"Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms," the company said in a recall notice posted to the FDA website.

"Pets with salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain," they added. "If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets 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."


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