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CDC warns dog owners of salmonella in pig ear treats

  • August 6, 2019
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CDC warns dog owners of salmonella in pig ear treats

By Elaine Owen, Editor

Following concerns this
week about a multi-state
outbreak of Salmonella tied
to pig ear dog treats, the
Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) and the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration
(FDA) have passed along
further clarification. Because
the agencies cannot
link the outbreak to any one
supplier, they advise not
to buy or feed any pig ear
treats to animals. Just as
importantly, they caution
humans shouldn’t even be
touching them.
According to the CDC,
a total of 127 human cases
of Salmonella poisoning
reported in 33 states
have been linked to the dog
treats, which are typically
dehydrated and intact pig
ears—though they may also
come from other parts of a
swine—that often have added flavoring. By
chewing on or consuming the ears, animals
can contract Salmonella, the bacteria that
causes foodborne illness and prompts symptoms
like diarrhea, vomiting, and fever and
sometimes requires hospitalization. In pets,
symptoms may also include bloody diarrhea
and fatigue.
The CDC and FDA are telling consumers
to avoid touching these pig ears altogether
because Salmonella can easily be passed
from their surface to human hands. If hands
are not washed, the bacteria can spread to
other surfaces or to a person’s mouth, causing
infection. A dog who has just consumed
Salmonella and then licks someone’s face or
open wound can also pass along the bacteria.
The CDC has examined treats from a variety
of suppliers, including some that claim
to have been irradiated to kill bacteria.
They have yet to isolate the outbreak to a
single source. All pig ear treats, regardless
of brand, should be discarded and surfaces
or containers they’ve touched should be
washed with soap and water.