ATLANTA – Consumers and retailers are being advised to avoid any pig ear treats, which authorities say could sicken people and their pets.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control are working with state agencies to investigate 127 human cases of salmonellosis related to several types of salmonella with a suspected link to the pet treats, some of which originated from Argentina and Brazil.
The CDC says people can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs that ate them. Dogs also might get sick after eating them, according to the agency.
Pet stores are being advised not to sell any pig ears and to sanitize any shelves or other surfaces that might have the treats might have touched. The CDC is also asking distributors, importers, suppliers and wholesalers not to sell them.
The CDC reported 26 people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak and 24 illnesses are among children younger than five.
Distributor Lennox International Inc. has recalled some of the treats involved in the outbreak. Recently, Pet Supplies Plus also initiated a recall of bulk pig ears after samples tested positive for Salmonella.
“Multiple products have tested positive for numerous types of Salmonella resulting in two company recalls to date. Given this and the links to human illness, we believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products,” said Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “We also continue to advise those who may have come into contact with potentially contaminated products to practice safe hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands and disinfecting any surfaces that have touched pig ear pet treats. The FDA will provide additional updates as our investigation further progresses.”