Salmonella-tainted Diamond Pet Food dog food has been linked to 14 illnesses in at least nine states. The Salmonella strain involved is fairly rare, Salmonella infantis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At least 14 people have been sickened in an outbreak that has been linked to dry dog food produced at Diamond Pet Foods’ South Carolina plant. Since last month, said the CDC, Diamond Pet Foods has recalled three dry dog food products, wrote Reuters.
Reported infections spanned from October 8, 2011 to April 22 and involve five hospitalizations. Sicknesses have been reported in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, said Reuters. Of those who fell ill, seven said they had been in contact with a dog in the week before becoming sick and five recalled the type of dog food in which they were in contact.
Diamond Pet Foods has recalled various bags of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food, Diamond Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food, and Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food. Sampling revealed Salmonella in the products, which were manufactured at Diamond Pet Foods’ Gaston, South Carolina plant. The products may have been further distributed to additional states through pet food channels.
As we’ve written, the Gaston plant was responsible for mold-contaminated food linked to dozens of dog deaths across the country in 2005. The same plant also saw troubles in 2009 over a cat food recall because the food was manufactured with insufficient thiamine, a nutrient critical to cats, said the AP.
The Diamond Pet Foods scandal that killed dozens of dogs was resolved after the firm paid $3.1 million in a settlement with pet owners. The pet food contained a mold called aflatoxin, which can cause severe liver damage. Diamond Pet Foods acknowledged that workers at its Gaston plant failed to follow internal testing procedures to ensure its products were safe, but only after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released a report confirming the company had no record of test results for 12 2005 shipments of corn, when grain tainted with the deadly fungus slipped into the plant.
Salmonella can affect animals and there is also a risk to people who handle Salmonella-contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella and consumers should dispose of the recalled pet food safely by securing the food in a covered trash receptacle to ensure other animals and wildlife cannot access the tainted product. Healthy people infected with salmonellosis should monitor themselves for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever. Pets suffering from Salmonella infections may suffer from lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain. Sometimes pets can appear healthy, but can be carriers of the dangerous pathogen, infecting other people and animals.