A multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections are being tied to pig ears sold as dog treats, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA. Dog owners are advised not to buy or feed their dogs any pig ear dog treats, including those that may already be in homes.
The agencies said the treats could be contaminated with Salmonella and even handling the treats can make people sick. To date, 127 people have been reported ill in 33 states, including 26 who have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The warning issued Wednesday by CDC and FDA follows an investigation that has prompted two separate recalls in recent days and weeks.
"We believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products," Steven Solomon, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, stated in the advisory.
Tests have identified many different strains of Salmonella in pig ears from various brands and suppliers. Information collected to date has not identified a single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats.
CDC recommends throwing the treats away in a secure container so pets and other animals can’t eat them and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling pet food or treats, including pig ears.
This investigation is ongoing, and CDC said they will provide more information as it becomes available.
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