The outbreak has sickened 143 people, 33 of whom have been hospitalized
As the investigation into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella infections continues, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strongly warned consumers against buying any pig ear dog treats.
In an update on Thursday, the CDC explained that the number of individuals sickened by the outbreak had risen to 143. No deaths have been reported, but 33 of the individuals have been hospitalized. Twenty-six of the illnesses are among children younger than 5 years old.
“CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy or feed any pig ear dog treats, including any that may already be in homes,” the update read, adding that the outbreak had infected people from 35 different states.
Though the treats are meant for dogs to eat, the CDC notes that “people can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate the treats.” Dogs may also get sick after eating the pig ears.
The CDC explained that they were warning against all types of pig ear dog treats because “no single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses.”
Since the investigation, many companies have recalled their pig ear dog treats, including Pet Supplies Plus, Brutus & Barnaby and Dog Goods USA. On Tuesday, Dog Goods USA expanded its recall to include Berkley & Jensen brand pig ear pet treats as well as their Chef Toby pig ear treats.
Brutus & Barnaby, meanwhile, recalled all sizes of its Pig Ears 100% Natural Treats for Dogs. Pet Supplies Plus recalled “bulk pig ear product supplied to all locations by several different vendors.” Lennox Intl. also recalled its Natural Pig pig ears product.
The CDC advised dog owners who possess the recalled pig ear treats to throw them away in a secure container so animals can’t eat them. These owners should also clean anything that came in contact with the treats with hot, soapy water.
Symptoms of salmonella in humans include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, according to the CDC, while dogs infected with salmonella may seem more tired than usual, and will likely have diarrhea. Pets and humans with these symptoms should be taken to their healthcare provider or veterinarian, the CDC said.
The salmonella investigation is ongoing, and the CDC said they will continue to provide updates as more information is available.