Rawhide Chips for Dogs Recalled by Hartz MountainOct 20, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP The Associated Press is reporting that the Hartz Mountain Corporation has recalled a specific lot of its Hartz chicken-basted rawhide chips for dogs. There are concerns that one or more bags in the affected lot might be contaminated with salmonella.
The lots involved are two-pound plastic bags of chips with lot code JC23282 and UPC number 3270096463. The chicken-based rawhide chips were distributed to a national retail customer, Hartz confirmed; Hartz would not name the customer. Hartz reported that its normal testing through an independent laboratory did not detect salmonella in any of its rawhide products; however, sample testing by another laboratory indicated the presence of the bacteria in a bag of the chicken-basted chips. “Hartz is investigating the difference in test results and the potential source of the problem. It said no animals or humans had been reported ill,” according to the Associated Press.
This is not the first time in recent months that salmonella has turned up in pet food. In August 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. 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. In recent years, scientists have been reporting on an increase in the 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.
Last month another Mars Petcare US pet food recall was called over potential salmonella contamination. Although Mars did not release figures on how much pet food was involved in that action, it did confirm that the recall spanned 31 states and a variety of brands.
Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and—if the rawhide chips are handled—in people, especially children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that salmonella can be transferred from pets to people who ingest or handle contaminated products. Salmonella poisoning can lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes and painful urination. A victim of Reiter’s Syndrome may have already been treated for the initial infection, and it can be weeks before the symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome become apparent. Reiter’s Syndrome, which can plague its victims for months or years, is said to occur when reactive arthritis is evident and at least one other non-joint area, such as the eyes, skin or muscles, is affected.