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More Mars Petcare Pet Food Salmonella Poisoning

Sep 15, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

The Associated Press is reporting today that Mars Petcare US just announced a voluntary recall of all dry pet food products produced at its Everson, Pennsylvania plant between February 18 and July 29.  The recall cites a potential salmonella contamination.  Although Mars did not release figures on how much pet food is involved, it did confirm that the recall spans 31 states and a variety of brands.

"Even though no direct link between products produced at the Everson plant and human or pet illness has been made, we are taking this precautionary action to protect pets and their owners," the company said.  Mars said it stopped production on July 29 at the affected site when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced in Everson and two isolated cases of people infected with salmonella.  Mars said salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in humans as well.

The company said consumers should look for "17" as the first two digits of the second line on the UPC imprint for those products affected.  For Pedigree products, consumers are advised to look for "PAE" on the bottom line.  Consumers can also call 1-877-568-4463 or consult http://www.petcare.mars.com.  Brand names of affected products include some items under the names of Country Acres, Retriever, Doggy Bag, Members Mark, Natural, Ol' Roy, Special Kitty, Paws & Claws, Pedigree, Wegman's, Pet Pride, PMI Nutrition, and Red Flannel.

Meanwhile, late last month we reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found strong evidence linking recalled dried pet food manufactured by the Mars Petcare US company to a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella.  Sixty-six people in 18 states were sickened by Salmonella Schwarzengrund, the same strain that was detected in Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula and Krasdale Gravy dry dog foods recalled by Mars Petcare that same week.  The CDC said that the Schwarzengrund strain was found in stool samples from dogs of two patients with Salmonella poisoning. Both dogs had eaten the recalled dog food. The CDC also said that its study of the outbreak had found that households with ill persons were significantly more likely to have recently purchased one of the brands of recalled dry dog foods than households without ill persons. Also, the Pennsylvania Health Department found traces of Schwarzengrund Salmonella at the southwestern Pennsylvania factory that produced the food.

The CDC says that every year, approximately 40,000 cases of Salmonella poisoning are reported in the United States.  But, since many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be thirty or more times greater.  Also, in recent years, scientists have been reporting on an increase in prevalence of multi-drug resistant Schwarzengrund Salmonella worldwide.  People who contract multi-drug resistant Schwarzengrund Salmonella are more likely to die, are more likely to be hospitalized, and are hospitalized for longer periods than patients with infections caused by susceptible, non resistant strains.


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