As public health and regulatory officials continue to investigate a suspected link between pig ear pet treats and human cases of salmonella, a third voluntary recall of the popular dog treat has been issued.
Dog Goods USA LLC, of Tobyhanna, Pa., is recalling its Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats because of a "possible salmonella health risk," according to the recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration website.
On July 31, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both said consumers should avoid pig ear treats and advised retailers to stop selling them amid a multistate outbreak of human salmonella infections.
So far, 127 people have been infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella in 33 states and 26 have been hospitalized, the CDC said.
Dog Goods USA said in a company statement that no illnesses have been linked to its products to date and it is conducting an internal investigation and also working with the FDA and CDC.
According to the notice, 34 lots of non-irradiated bulk and Chef Toby Pig Ears packaged pig ears are part of the recall. Affected product lot codes are:
428590, 278989, 087148, 224208, 1168723, 428590, 222999, 074599, 1124053, 226884, 578867, 224897, 1234750, 444525, 1106709, 215812, 230273, 224970, 585246, 327901, 052248, 210393, 217664, 331199, 225399, 867680, 050273, 881224, 424223, 225979, 431724, 226340, 880207, 334498
Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a refund, according to the recall notice. For questions, call 786-401-6533, ext. 8000 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products, and humans are at risk from handling contaminated pet products, especially if hands have not been thoroughly washed after contact has been made with the pig ear products.
The symptoms of salmonella in humans include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, and they usually develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to the CDC. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.
Some dogs may have a salmonella infection but may not look sick, the CDC said, noting dogs with an infection usually have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit.
What should pet owners do?
Here's what the FDA and CDC are advising:
Do not feed any pig ear treats to your dog.
Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.
Even if some of the pig ears were fed to your dog and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to your dog.
Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held any pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
In general, if you choose to feed treats like pig ears, practice good hygiene by: monitoring your pet while they have the treat, picking up the treat when they are done with it, keeping treats away from small children, cleaning the areas the treat contacted, washing hands, and not allowing your pet to lick you, your family members, or surfaces in your home.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pig ear dog treat recall: Dog Goods USA issues voluntary recall