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Pig Ear Dog Treats Linked To Salmonella

the CDC and FDA have issued a recall on all pig ear dog treats

If you feed you dog pig ear dog treats you might want to find another treat to give them. 

Yesterday, September 5, 2019, the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about a multistate salmonella outbreak linked to pig ear dog treats. 

The warning has been updated to include ALL pig ear products.

According to the CDC, “143 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 35 states.

143 people may not seem like much especially when millions of pig ear dog treats are sold in pet stores and online across the country but keep in mind that these are the cases reported. There may be other cases not reported and people and dogs may have been exposed but haven’t shown any signs of illness. 

The concern is that humans are becoming ill from just handling these treats and some dogs are getting sick. 

26 (20%) of the reported 143 cases have been children under 5 years old and 110 (30%) people have been hospitalized. 

The CDC recommends that people dispose of any pig ears that have in their homes by throwing them away in secure containers so that your dog can get them. All shelving and containers that may have come in contact with a pig ear dog treat should be washed and sanitized. 

Current pig ear dog treat recalls have been issued for:

  • On July 3, 2019, Pet Supplies Plus announced a recall of all bulk pig ears from its stores in AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI and WV.
  • On July 26, 2019, Lennox Intl Inc. announced a recall for some of its pig ear pet treat products. On July 30, the firm announced an expanded recall.
  • On August 16, 2019, Dog Goods USA LLC announced a recall of non-irradiated bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears. Product lot codes for the recalled products are 428590, 278989, 087148, 224208, 1168723, 428590, 222999, 074599, 1124053, 226884, 578867, 224897, 1234750, 444525, 1106709, 215812, 230273, 224970, 585246, 327901, 052248, 210393, 217664, 331199, 225399, 867680, 050273, 881224, 424223, 225979, 431724, 226340, 880207, and 334498.  On September 3, 2019, the firm announced an expanded recall  to include all 30-packs of Berkley & Jensen brand pig ears sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores.
  • Berkley Jensen Pig Ears Dog Chews sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores in 30-count packs
  • All sizes of Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears Natural Treats for Dogs
  • Best Bully Sticks. These bully sticks pig ears were sold on Amazon and possibly Chewy but have since been removed from those websites. The recall was issued under TDBBS. For specific information on what products were recalled under this brand visit the FDA’s recall report
  • The FDA has placed the importers for these pig ears on Import Alert 72-03, preventing them from importing pig ears into the U.S.

No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses so all pig ears should be considered contaminated. Pet stores and pet retailers are advised to remove all pig ear dog treats and dipse of then properly. 

What is salmonella?

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that commonly cause a foodborne illness called salmonellosis.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are more than 2,300 types of bacteria in the Salmonella genus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Contamination typically happens after infected feces comes into contact with animals, crops or water and people then consume or touch those items and don’t wash their hands.

Humans and animals typically have some Salmonella bacteria in their stomach and intestines, but stomach acid and intestinal bacteria generally kill the Salmonella before it has the opportunity to invade cells and replicate.

Cases of Salmonella tend to peak in late summer because warmer summer temperatures create ideal conditions for Salmonella, as well as many other bacteria.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection in dogs

According to the CDC ” Salmonellosis is uncommon in dogs and cats. When the disease is seen in an adult dog or cat, the animal typically has another infection or debilitating condition at the same time.”

Puppies and kittens can get the disease if they ingest a large number of the bacteria.

Signs of salmonellosis in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased activity level

The FDA states that “Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria, and the contamination will continue to spread.

Because animals can shed the bacteria, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed. 

Contact your veterinarian if your dog shows any of these signs after consuming a pig ear. 

Signs of Salmonellosis in People

People also become infected with Salmonella by handling contaminated food, such as contaminated pet food, or touching contaminated surfaces and utensils and then accidentally transferring the bacteria from their hands to their mouths.

Symptoms start within 12 hours to 3 days after a person ingests Salmonella. Symptoms of salmonellosis in people include:

  • Fever;
  • Diarrhea (which may be bloody);
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting; and
  • Stomach pain.

“Most people recover from salmonellosis in 4 to 7 days without treatment. Children under 5, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems (such as those with cancer or other diseases) have a higher risk of getting salmonellosis and may develop more severe symptoms, ” according to the FDA.

I’ve checked many online retailers this morning that have not pulled the pig ear dog treats from their websites so err on the side of caution and avoid purchasing these until the FDA says otherwise. 

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Tails Around the Ranch

Friday 6th of September 2019

The gang around here were especially saddened with all these recalled pig ears. They are a favorite treat. Luckily they are easily dissuaded with other tasty treats. #knuckleheads

Ducky & Mom

Friday 6th of September 2019

Well, pig ears may be appealing to some dogs, but thankfully not to Ducky. Actually, she wouldn't know one if she saw it because ever since the rawhide-chews scare several years ago, I refused to give my girls any of that kind of treat.

I just received another Dog Food Advisor alert yesterday in my email.

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