Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Hand Washing Urged After Salmonella Dry Pet Food

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, May 16, 2008 10:14 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Toxic Substances, Salmonella, Salmonellosis, Public Health

Dog food containing salmonella has been discovered over a two year period covering 19 states.  



IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockPhoto/ jack Russell puppies/ author: shimmo


For the first time, an outbreak of salmonella bacterial infection in humans has been traced to dry dog food.  Health experts believe it could underlie many cases of infection, particularly in young children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, who co-authored the report isn’t sure how the salmonella bacteria got into the dog food.

The salmonella incidents occurred in 2006 and 2007 and affected an estimated 70 people across 19 states. The first outbreak was reported in Pennsylvania in May, 2006 and the strains of salmonella were identical.  By October 2007 there were a total of 70 confirmed cases of the same outbreak strain reported to the CDC.

The manufacturer recalled two brands of the pet food, produced by Mars Petcare at its Pennsylvania plant. Most of the incidents were in the Northeast and about 40 percent involved children ages three and under.

Cases were also reported as far away as California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.   No deaths were reported but Salmonella contamination leads to bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps lasting up to a week.

Ironically the pets were not made ill by the salmonella even though it was detected in the feces samples from dogs eating the same food.

How was it contaminated?  Salmonella can result from direct contact with feces from farm animals, reptiles and pets, and can also come from undercooked meat and eggs.

The most important preventative is to wash your hands after handling pet treats, supplements vitamins and pet food, says Barton Behravesh.  Children should be kept away from pet feeding areas and young children should not touch or eat pet food.

Any plant that processes food for pets is also processing animal products and is likely the source of the contamination.

So far this year the U.S. has seen salmonella contamination coming from pet turtles, melons from Honduras, contaminated Malt-O-Meal, cantaloupes from Mexico.

And last year 47 states reported salmonella contaminated peanut butter made by Peter Pan.   #

No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes