Friday 1 June 2012

People Get Salmonella Poisoning From Contaminated Pet Food

I had not fully realised this but there is a risk that people who are feeding their cats or dogs pet food that is believed to be contaminated with salmonella, can become infected and poisoned by the salmonella bacteria themselves. The risk is not high, it seems, and precautionary measures can be taken.

In fact, regarding the last pet food recall that I referred to on this site, it is reported that although there have been no cases of dogs showing symptoms of a salmonella infection, there have been 16 cases of humans being infected across nine US states and Canada [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)].

Salmonella is a type of bacteria and salmonella infections are zoonotic. This means the infection can be transmitted from animal to human and vice versa.

In respect of the current dry dog food recall (Diamond Pet Foods), a person can become infected if their hands have come into contact with the contaminated product and their hands are subsequently used to handle human food before being thoroughly washed. The same applies to surfaces exposed to the product.

The symptoms can be quite nasty:  diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever, nausea, vomiting. Children under 5 years of age are at a higher risk.

There is also an extension of the original Diamond Pet Food recall which people probably already know about. In case it has been overlooked, this page of the FDA website deals with it. It concerns Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb and Rice Formula 6 pound & 18 pound bags and samples that were manufactured on 26th August 2011.

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