Sushi isn’t the only food that’s spreading Salmonella this spring–several brands of dry dog food have recently been recalled due to fears of the disease. And it’s not just canines who are at risk; dog food recalled for Salmonella can sicken humans, too. Here’s what you need to know.
So far, 14 humans are suspected to have contracted Salmonella due to contact with tainted pet food–or with a dog who may have come in contact with the food. That’s because Salmonella is pretty contagious, and can be transmitted after even just touching something that’s been contaminated. Even though pet owners are (probably) not chowing down on kibbles and bits, they do often touch their pets’ food without washing their hands afterward–and then may touch other surfaces, or the dog itself. Which is why it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after touching a dog or dog food, use dog-food specific serving tools or scoops, and keep dog food tightly closed, up and away from other food.
If you’re concerned that you may have tainted food, check the label on your pet’s dry food. The complaints of sickness by humans have mostly dried up, but voluntary recalls have just recently been announced by Natural Balance, Canidae, WellPet, and Diamond–all of which manufacture their dry kibble at the same plant in Gaston, South Carolina. Even if your pet food wasn’t manufactured by one of these specific brands, if it was made in Gaston, it’s probably a good idea to secure the remaining food (so your pup can’t get into it), and throw it out. If you’re not sure, you can check with the FDA, who are keeping their site updated regularly with information.
Additionally, it’s always good to brush up on the symptoms of Salmonella, which includes nausea, digestive problems, and flu-like symptoms, like muscle aches. In dogs, it’s similar–look for lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and swollen lymph glands. If you or your pet experience these symtoms, get to a doctor (or vet), and be sure to take note of what you’ve been feeding your furry friend. Even if you’re not sick with this particular and rare strain of Salmonella, it’s good to make sure. And if you are, you’ll be helping the CDC and the FDA track the outbreak, which may help other consumers.
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