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Salmonella Outbreak Blamed on Reptile Feed, Recall Issued

Jul 28, 2010

A Salmonella outbreak in 17 states has been linked to frozen mice, rats and chicks used to feed pet reptiles. Biggers & Callaham LLC., D/B/A Mice Direct, the company that sells the reptile feed, has issued a nationwide recall for the products.

According to the recall notice, the frozen reptile feed was distributed in all states, except Hawaii, through pet stores and by mail order and direct delivery. It was shipped in plastic bags with the following product codes M-SP100, M-P100, M-PF100, M-F100, M-H100, M-W50, M-A50, M-JA25, R-P100, R-F50, R-PUP50, R-W50, R-S50, R-M20, R-L10,R-J5, R-C5, R-M3 followed by E9, F9, G9, H9, I9, J9, K9, L9 or A10, B10, C10, D10, E10, F10, G10 and whole frozen chicks in 25 count bags.

The recall is based upon sampling by the Food & Drug Administration of frozen mice. The recalled products should not be fed to animals, even after heating in a microwave oven, since the heating may not be adequate to kill Salmonella.

Consumers who purchased reptile feed from Mice Direct are urged to contact the company by telephone at 888-747-0736 from 9:00a.m-5:00p.m EST Monday-Friday or by e-mail at for instructions concerning this recall and for credits towards replacement of unused product.

According to an Associated Press report, since January, 30 human illnesses possibly associated with the reptile feed have been reported around the country. The Centers for Disease Control is investigating the outbreak.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Mice Direct said in a statement that reptile feed shipped after July 24 will be irradiated in a similar manner as raw food for human consumption in order to address the Salmonella issue associated with these products.

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