A salmonella outbreak in humans has been traced back to a very-not-human source: dog food. Federal health officials determined that at least seven people, mostly infants, have gotten sick from certain brands of dry dog food. Mid America Pet Food, the company implicated in the outbreak, recalled all of its dog and cat food brands with best-by dates prior to Oct. 31, 2024.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly announced an investigation into the outbreak Thursday. The first inklings of the problem emerged in early September when the FDA reported that the South Carolina Department of Agriculture detected salmonella in one of the company’s dry dog food brands as part of a random sample test. The Texas-based company soon issued a voluntary recall of a specific lot of that brand and issued a second recall in late October after more lots were found contaminated with the bacteria at their production facility.
The CDC is also recommending that people generally take steps to handle their pet’s food safely. People should regularly clean pet food and water bowls, food scoops, treat toys, feeding mats, and placemats. They should also wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling pet food, and avoid their pet licking them in the face and mouth right after a meal. Pet owners should also make sure their fur babies aren’t licking their open wounds. As a general rule, people shouldn’t feed their pets raw pet food or treats either, since these products are more likely to contain germs that can make pets and their owners sick.
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