Humans are getting ill from Salmonella in pet foods

veterinary news

The FDA has announced that they are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections in people.  These infections are believed to be linked to dog foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.Salmonella

(For more information on the Diamond recall, see here:  HUGE recall of Diamond pet foods)

At the time of writing this (May 4, 2012), 14 cases of Salmonella Infantis, a rare strain of Salmonella have been reported, spanning 9 states.  Five of these people were sick enough to need hospitalization.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been able to connect these cases to exposure to dog food manufactured at a Diamond Pet Food plant in South Carolina.  So far, there have been no reported human deaths.

How do people get Salmonella from dog food?

There are several ways that a person can contract a salmonella infection from their pet’s food:

  • From handling your pet’s food.
  • From handling your pet’s food dishes.
  • From contaminated dish water used to wash your pet’s food dishes.
  • From contamination via your pet’s feces.

The bacteria does need to be ingested to cause illness.  Therefore, washing your hands after contact with your pet’s food, dishes, or feces will help greatly to prevent salmonella infection.


Symptoms of Salmonella in people

Salmonella causes severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.  The symptoms usually occur between 8 to 48 hours after ingesting the bacteria.  Dehydration (from vomiting and diarrhea) can be very serious and even life threatening.  Therefore, if you think you may have been made ill because of Salmonella contamination in your pet’s food, please seek medical attention.

For a list of the foods involved in the recall, read this.

Have you been affected?

Do you think you have become ill because of Salmonella contamination in your dog’s food?  I would greatly appreciate if you could leave a comment letting us know what type of pet food you have purchased, and the nature of your symptoms.  Your comments will help other people who are searching for information.  I would ask that you please share this article as well (on Facebook, Twitter and email) so that we can hopefully prevent people and pets from getting sick!

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Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie is a veterinarian treating dogs, cats, and pocket pets. Click here to ask Dr. Marie a question.

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2 Responses to "Humans are getting ill from Salmonella in pet foods"

  1. Melody says:

    We fed our cats Chicken Soup for the Cat lovers soul Cat food, made by diamond, for about three months last fall. We had five cats and around December, one of our boy kitties, who is 3 1/2, was diagnosed with kidney failure. He is still fighting and is on a prescription diet and doing OK but his levels continue to rise. Three weeks ago, our other boy kitty became really ill and was diagnosed with renal failure. He seemed healthy a week before, then he deteriorated so rapidly and we lost him on April 18th. He was only 9 1/2. So far the three girl kitties seem unaffected, but the only thing we did differently was switch to that food last fall. When Sterling got sick at Christmas time, we switched back to our old food and our veterinarian has been researching to see if he can find out anything about this food. He said he hasn’t seen a lot of good things with diamond foods. I would love to know if there are others out there whose baby kitties are affected by this. We thought we were giving our babies something healthy!

  2. betty nicholson says:

    all 3 of my dogs got sick from diamond dog food.diamond is ignoring me even tho i was on cbs news. i guess if no dogs die, it doesn’t matter.

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