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Diamond Pet Food Salmonella contamination connected to human infections

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Diamond Pet Food Salmonella contamination has been connected to several human infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced, with 14 individuals confirmed with the infection in an ongoing outbreak.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 14 individuals have been infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis. Some of the infections, the CDC indicated, have been connected to multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina.

Nine states have reported Salmonella Infantis infections in individuals. These states, and the number of reported infections, are as follows:

  • Alabama (1)
  • Connecticut (1)
  • Michigan (1)
  • Missouri (3)
  • North Carolina (3)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • Ohio (2)
  • Pennsylvania (1)
  • Virginia (1)

Among nine patients with available information, five were hospitalized, the CDC said, with no deaths reported.

Consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products and discard them promptly, the CDC advised. People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health care providers.

The following recalls of Diamond Pet Foods were released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously:

Diamond Naturals dog food recalled, possible Salmonella contamination
Diamond Naturals expands pet food recall, Salmonella concerns ongoing
Diamond Pet Foods recall expands to puppy food as Salmonella concerns grow

Following the announcement of human illnesses linked to the Salmonella Infantis outbreak associated with dog food, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) are encouraging safe handling of pet food. They indicated that the two Ohio cases involved a 74 year old female in Franklin County and a 4 month old female in Morrow County.

Humans can become ill by handling pet products contaminated with Salmonella, the ODH and ODA indicated, and by coming in contact with pets or with surfaces that have been contaminated. Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent illness. Wash hands for 20 seconds with hot running water and soap:

  • Before and after handling pet foods and treats
  • After petting, touching, handling, or feeding pets, and especially after contact with feces
  • Before preparing your own food and before eating

Because infants and children are especially susceptible to foodborne illness, keep them away from areas where pets are fed. Never allow them to touch or eat pet food. Surfaces exposed to the product should also be properly cleaned.

Human symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain. People with these symptoms should contact their healthcare providers. Gastrointestinal illness may become severe and lead to hospitalization. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Salmonella can also sicken animals who eat food that is contaminated. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

For more information about the Diamond Pet Food recalls, visit the FDA website.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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