Salmonella Threat Seen With Pet Food

The dangerous, even deadly, <"">Salmonella pathogen, could be lurking anywhere, warns Toledo on the Move, which writes that stored pet food could sicken children with a number of dangerous illnesses, such as Salmonella.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from January 2009 to October 2008, 79 people were sickened by Salmonella after just touching contaminated pet food, with 32 cases involving children under the age of two, wrote Toledo on the Move.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. All people who are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products.

Toledo on the Move suggests keeping pet food out of the kitchen and warns against making dog food at home saying that according to veterinarians, home made versions could injure pets as manufactured products contain nutrients specifically targeted to dogs and cats.

We have previously written that Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling Salmonella-tainted pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with tainted food or any surfaces exposed to tainted products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

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 Salmonella-contaminated products should contact their healthcare providers immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets, can be carriers and can infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed Salmonella-contaminated products and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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