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Reference Desk May 2012

Investigation of a Multi-state Outbreak of Salmonella Infantis Linked to Dry Dog Food

    SILVER SPRING, Maryland, May 3, 2012—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local officials to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections. A total of 14 individuals infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from nine states. For complete details on the cases, go to CDC’s Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food website.

    FDA became involved in early April when the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported detecting Salmonella from an intact package of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs, collected during retail surveillance sampling.  Diamond Pet Food was notified of the sampling results, and agreed to voluntarily recall this product on April 6, 2012. See Firm Recall Press Release: Diamond Pet Foods Voluntarily Recalls Limited Number of Dry Dog Food Bags Due to a Potential Health Risk for more information. At that time, there were no known dog illnesses reported. 

    An additional finding of Salmonella in a sample taken by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, from an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store led to a recall of that product on April 26, 2012. See Firm Recall Press Release: Diamond Pet Foods Expands Voluntary Recall of One Production Run of Dry Dog Food Due to a Potential Health Risk for more information.

    A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility also yielded Salmonella Infantis, which led to a recall of that product on April 30, 2012. See Firm Recall Press Release: Diamond Pet Foods Expands Voluntary Recall to Include Diamond Puppy Formula due to Possible Salmonella Contamination for more information. 

    Public health officials used DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to investigate cases of human illness. CDC reports that this outbreak strain (Infantis) is rare, and typically only 0 to 3 cases are reported per month to PulseNet.

    Through interviews by state public health officials, FDA’s review of consumer complaints, and from a comparison of pet products from human exposure, some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pets Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have now been linked to human Salmonella infections.

    FDA, CDC, and state investigations are ongoing in an effort to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at the South Carolina facility may be linked to confirmed human illnesses.  FDA will provide updates on the investigation as new information becomes available.

    Complete information on the recalled products, including photos, lot numbers, and distribution information on each is located at Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information.

    Since their initial recall on April 6, 2012, Diamond Pet Foods has voluntarily expanded that recall to include three of their dry dog food products. Diamond Pet Foods is cooperating with FDA and with state and local public health and agricultural officials in this ongoing investigation.

    The recalled products were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

    The company is working directly with distributors and retailers that carry these products to remove them as quickly as possible from the marketplace. 

    Consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products. Do not feed recalled products to your pet and do not handle the pet food.  Follow the tips listed at FDA’s Safe Handling Tips for Pet Foods and Treats.

    Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like a replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods at 800-442-0402, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or visit Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information.

    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. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

    People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten recalled dry pet food should consult their health care provider. Infants, older adults and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

    Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state, or electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.

    Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    didyouknow

    Did you know... At least two-thirds of pet owners in the US and Europe turn to their vet or vet assistant about their pet's health. The second most popular source is online with over half (59%) of all pet owners likely to go to websites for information. Read More

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