Pet owners need to stop feeding pig ear treats to their pets immediately, according to the latest update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
An alert was issued on Sept. 5 when the two federal health agencies investigated and determined a total of 143 human cases of Salmonella poisoning reported in 35 states have come from the suspected dehydrated pig ears.
The CDC says at least 33 people have been hospitalized and 26 falling ill, including some younger than 5-years-old. No deaths have been reported.
People can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate the treats, the CDC warns. Salmonella can be passed from contaminated dog treats to human hands. Symptoms of salmonella infection in humans include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Dogs might get sick after eating the treats. Some dogs with Salmonella infection may not look sick, but look for signs of diarrhea, which may be bloody; sluggish or tired behavior; and possibly vomiting or a fever.
The CDC advises consumers to not feed any pig ear treats to their dogs. The treats should be discarded in secure containers to prevent pets and other animals from eating them. Pet owners are also encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching unpackaged dog food or treats, including products in bulk bins or on store shelves.
Pig ear dog treats have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses in people. Always wash your hands right after handling pet food or treats. https://t.co/R5mM07rpb0 pic.twitter.com/y9fg9wLyLY
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 3, 2019
The CDC and the FDA are also telling retailers not to sell pig ear treats.
The FDA says it is working with impacted firms to remove pig ear pet treats from the marketplace and identify places where they may have been distributed. On Aug. 16, Dog Goods USA, LLC announced a recall of non-irradiated bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears. On Sept. 3, the firm announced an expanded recall to include all 30-packs of Berkley & Jensen brand pig ears sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores.
“No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats have been identified that can account for all the illnesses,” the CDC says, adding that more products could be recalled as more testing identifies Salmonella.