Salmonella Contamination Sparks Dog Food Recall

Salmonella-tainted dog food is being recalled in several states. Mars Petcare US, Inc. of Tennessee announced the recall Tuesday. The company said that it is recalling 5 lb bags of Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food because the <"">Salmonella contamination has the potential to make both pets and people sick.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said the dog food was sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The dog food bears the UPC code 753062596 and a “best buy” date of July 16, 2008 and July 17, 2008. FDA tests on a sample of the food found Salmonella bacteria. Anyone who purchased the dog food should throw it away and return the bags for a refund.

Salmonella is a potentially deadly type of food poisoning, symptoms of which include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms appear within 36 hours of exposure, and usually last four to seven days. In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Some victims of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. Reiter’s Syndrome can plague its victims for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis.

Pets can become ill with Salmonella poisoning if they eat the tainted Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food. But people can become sick as well, through cross-contamination. To avoid cross-contamination, anyone handling pet food should wash their hands with hot, soapy water when they are done. Likewise, pet food bowls, dishes and scooping utensils should also be washed after use. Dry food should be stored in a cool (under 80-degrees) dry place in its original bag or a container with a lid. Unused wet food should be refrigerated, and the thermostat should be no higher than 40-degrees. Any stale or spoiled food should be thrown away. Pet food also should not be stored or handled anywhere human food is stored or prepared.

The recall comes just ten days after the Pennsylvania Department of Health warned consumers in that state of the potential for Salmonella-contaminated pet food. Since January of 2006, at least 25 people in Pennsylvania have become ill with a rare strain of Salmonella called Schwarzengrund. Several of the victims have been children and infants, and nearly all of the cases have occurred in families where people have close contact with pets. State health officials were investigating the possibility that the Salmonella outbreak was linked to tainted pet food. There has been no word yet if any of those cases were caused by Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food.

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