CDC: Pig ear dog treats likely source of Salmonella outbreak

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The CDC and FDA are investigating an outbreak of salmonella infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.

Forty-five people infected, including 12 hospitalizations with the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:i:- have been reported from 13 states-Iowa reporting the most cases with 12, followed by MI (7) and NY (6).

A CDC report says 45 people have been infected by Salmonella infection caused due to contact with pig ear dog treats. With 12 cases reported, the USA state of Iowa has been hit the hardest, followed by MI and NY with seven and six cases respectively.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reportedly found strains of Salmonella in pig ear dog treats sold at retail locations where ill people bought the products. The recall affects bulk pig ears stocked in open bins, not the prepackaged variety. Among the 34 individuals, 17 said they had come into contact with pig ear dog treats or animals who were given these treats. The investigation is still ongoing.

Use a clean scoop, spoon or cup to scoop out pet food, not the pet's bowl.

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If possible, store pet food and treats away from where human food is stored or prepared and out of reach of young children.

The outbreak strain is multi-drug resistant, according to officials. Both of these proportions are significantly higher than the results from a survey of healthy people who reported contact with dogs (61%) or handling dog treats, such as pig ears (16%), in the week before interview. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 81 years, with a median age of 23.

Some dogs may have Salmonella infection but may not look sick.

Unfortunately, other tests revealed that the strain responsible for the outbreak is resistant to several antibiotics, potentially making it more hard to treat. Retail stores from where the samples were gathered have taken down the products from their shelves.

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

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