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FDA: Do Not Buy or Feed ANY Pig Ear Pet Treats

July 31, 2019 — In the wake of 2 recent and related recalls, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to avoid buying or feeding all pig ear pet treats… and for retailers to stop selling these products.

What Caused the FDA Alert?

Together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA is investigating a suspected link between pig ear pet treats and human cases of salmonellosis.

As of July 31, 2019, the CDC reports that there are now 127 cases of human infection tied to exposure to pig ear pet treats with Salmonella.

Twenty-six people have been hospitalized. There are no reported deaths.

The FDA has traced back some of the pig ear treats associated with cases of illness to sources in Argentina and Brazil.

Human Salmonella Outbreak
Now Includes 33 States

The growing human Salmonella outbreak related to contaminated pig ears treats now includes the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin.

CDC Salmonella Outbreak Map
Updated July 31, 2019

People infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella related to contaminated pig ears treats by state of residence:

Related Recalls

Since July 3, 2019, The Dog Food Advisor has published 2 recall noticesrelated to this FDA alert:

The FDA is working with impacted firms to remove pig ear pet treats from the market and identify places where they may have been distributed.

The investigation is ongoing. The FDA will provide the public with new information as it becomes available.

What to Do?

The FDA and CDC are recommending that people avoid buying or feeding any pig ear pet treats at this time.

If you have pig ear pet treats, safely discard them and thoroughly clean the areas where the treats have been.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to https://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

July 17, 2019 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella infections due to contaminated pig ears dog treats is expanding to 27 states.

Related Recall

In a related story posted July 3, 2019, by The Dog Food Advisor, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.

Link to Dog Treats Confirmed

The CDC has uncovered scientific evidence to indicate that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of the outbreak.

DNA “fingerprinting” conducted by the CDC has linked the bacteria found on pig ears dog treats with the following 3 genetic strains:

  • Salmonella infantis
  • Salmonella newport
  • Salmonella london

About the Outbreak

As of July 16, 2019, a total of 93 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 27 states.

Twenty ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

What States?

Affected states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

About the Investigation

During the investigation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products.

A common supplier of pig ear dog treats has not been identified. Pet owners can take steps to keep their families healthy while feeding pets.

This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

About Salmonella

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.

Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

What to Do?

Consumers should not feed suspected pig ears to their dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.

Even if some of the recalled pig ears were fed to dogs and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to pets.

Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held the recalled pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to https://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.