Antibiotic Resistant “Chewable” Pig Ears Contaminated with Salmonella Pose Danger to Humans


    Antibiotic Resistant “Chewable” Pig Ears Contaminated with Salmonella Pose Danger to Humans

    A popular treat for man’s best friend, pig ears are also great for dog’s teeth- breaking away plaque and food residue. However, as with all pet treats there can be risks. Pig ears can cause obesity if eaten too frequently, occasionally cause upset stomach and at times- dangerous bacterial infections. In fact, a recent outbreak of salmonella is linked to pig ears and the damage is far reaching. So far, thirty-three states are part of the recall. Both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are monitoring the outbreak that has led to forty-five individuals infected with salmonella. Of these forty-five sick humans, twelve have been hospitalized.

    One supplier, Pet Supplies Plus, voluntarily issued a recall which has been posted to the FDA website. Although none of the cases of salmonella infection have been directly linked to ears supplied by Pet Supplies Plus, the recall is seen as a proactive measure.  The company has discontinued shipments and pulled pig ears from store shelves. Stores in dozens of states from California to Florida, Texas and New York carry this product. The illnesses, however, are isolated to thirteen states. A high percentage of the sick individuals interviewed confirm having come in to contact with pig ears directly, or, at minimum, a dog having chewed on one.

    Food Safety Advocate and contributor Erika Beach food safety lawsuit
    Food Safety Author Erika Beach

    Salmonella can be fatal to both dogs and humans, and often lead to salmonella litigation. Dogs having contracted salmonella often exhibit symptoms not vastly different than human ones. Symptoms for both can include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. It is possible, however, for a pet to carry the bacteria and pass it on to humans while having no symptoms at all. And, the FDA has confirmed instances of humans becoming ill from just the handling of pet food and treats. It is important to always use good hygiene after coming in contact with a pet’s saliva or food

    Also, pet foods and treats should always be stored in dedicated containers- not cross contaminated with those used for human foods.

    If you have purchased bulk pig ears it is important, out of an abundance of caution, to prevent the antibiotic resistant “chewable” pig ears contaminated with salmonella from harming your family to dispose of them.  Importantly, no single supplier has been definitively linked to the pig ears salmonella outbreak. The investigation continues for health organizations like the CDC and FDA.


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