The Treats You’re Feeding Your Dog Be Making You or Your Family Sick: CDC

By Web Staff

Could the treats you’re feeding your dog be making you or your family sick? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says yes.

The CDC reported Wednesday that it and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of salmonella across 13 states — and it’s linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.

File image of a Labradoodle dog, a mix between a Labrador and a Poodle. (Litthouse/Pixabay)

Forty-five people across California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin have been infected. Twelve have been hospitalized.

In CDC interviews with 38 of those infected, 34 said they had been in contact with a dog before getting sick. Separately, 17 people of 24 interviewed reported contact with pig ear dog treats or dogs fed those treats.

Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development sampled the pig ears for salmonella. They have identified some strains in the treats, but it is unclear whether those are the same strains causing the infection.

The CDC recommends that people always wash hands when handling pet food or treats, store pet food away from human food, and never let pets lick mouths, faces or open wounds.

Salmonella Outbreak Among Humans Linked to Dog Treats, CDC Warns

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened people in 13 states has been linked to dog treats, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Approximately 45 people have been infected with the strain of salmonella, 12 of whom have been hospitalized.

“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak,” the agency stated.

A probe uncovered a link between the sicknesses and dog treats, finding that 34 people reported contact with a dog before getting sick and 17 people reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed such treats.

salmonella outbreak prompts ground beef recall
Illustration of Salmonella bacteria. (CDC)

“Both of these proportions are significantly higher than the results from a survey of healthy people who reported contact with dogs (61 percent) or handling dog treats, such as pig ears (16 percent), in the week before interview,” the agency stated.

Information from some people who became sick was not available, meaning the actual numbers may be higher.

“Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products. They sampled pig ears for Salmonella. Although the outbreak strain was not identified, other strains of Salmonella were. Investigators are checking to see if any human illnesses are linked to those strains. Retail locations where sampling occurred have removed pig ears from shelves,” the agency added.

The company that supplied the infected treats hasn’t been identified as of yet.

The CNN Wire and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.