16 Now Sick In Dog Food Salmonella Outbreak

16 Now Sick In Dog Food Salmonella OutbreakThe number of those sickened from the ongoing and growing dog food Salmonella outbreak has now reached 16. Since we last reported, two more people have fallen ill after exposure to the Salmonella-tainted dry dog and cat food, according to federal health officials.

The new cases include one from the United States, where the illnesses have spanned nine states. The other case was reported in Quebec, Canada, said MSNBC. Of those reported being sickened, five have required hospitalization. Sicknesses have also been reported in North Carolina (3), Missouri (3), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), New Jersey (1), and Virginia (1).

The outbreak is related to a large recall of at least 11 dry dog food brands that are manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods’ South Carolina plant, said MSNBC. Brands include store brands sold by Costco, Kirkland Signature and Kirkland Signature Domain. Pet food companies involved and which implemented recalls include Apex Pet Foods, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Canidae Pet Foods, and WellPet LLC.

Lab tests confirmed illnesses involve the rare Salmonella infantis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said MSNBC. Those infected in the Salmonella infantis outbreak were sickened between October 8, 2011 and April 22, 2012, said public health investigators, who used the bacteria’s DNA fingerprints.

Diamond Pet Foods expanded its recall of certain brands of dry dog and cat foods manufactured at is South Carolina site from between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued a number of releases on the matter.

As we’ve written, the Gaston plant was responsible for mold-contaminated food linked to dozens of dog deaths nationwide in 2005, a scandal that killed dozens of dogs and resulted in a $3.1 million settlement over the deadly mold aflatoxin, which can cause severe liver damage. The plant was also involved in a 2009 cat food recall over insufficient thiamine, a critical feline nutrient.

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.

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