Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dog Treats in Canada
A Salmonella outbreak in Canada has sickened 8 people; the source: contaminated pig ear dog treats. Supplied by the company Masters Best Friend, Inc., the pig ear dog treats were sold under brands Paws Up! and Western Family brand throughout Canada in grocery store chains Canadian Tire and Save-On-Foods. The eight people with Salmonella Typhimurium infections reported illnesses in the following provinces: British Columbia (5), Alberta (2), and Yukon (1).
Although we typically think of contracting food borne illnesses through consuming contaminated food, pet owners are often at risk for foodborne infections from handling contaminated pet food, as bacteria can remain on hands not thoroughly washed after handling the food or on uncleaned surfaces that have come in contact with the food. This is the case for Salmonella bacteria, as the bacteria can easily survive on a multitude of surfaces. Salmonella infections in pets typically cause a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Some pets may be lethargic and have typical human food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Healthy pets may be asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella bacteria and can infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
According to the CDC, symptoms of a Salmonella infection in humans typically present as common food poisoning symptoms: diarrhea, which may be bloody, fever, and stomach cramps, though some patients have reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Salmonellosis, the infection caused by Salmonella contamination, symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours and as late as 6 days after consumption, and the illness typically lasts 4-7 days. Medical treatment may be necessary for Salmonella contamination in cases with dehydration or a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
People with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, children, and those with weakened immune systems, are at an increased risk for a severe Salmonella infection, such as bloodstream infection. If you believe you are suffering from Salmonella contamination, contact your physician immediately.