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CDC Warns Pet Owners Against Handling Pig Ear Treats

Pet owners across the United States are being warned by health officials to not handle or give pig ear treats to their dogs or other pets. The dried pig ears that are marketed as common treats for dogs may have been exposed to strains of Salmonella bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that about 16 people have been infected by salmonella after coming in contact with the pig ear treats since July 31.

CDC hasn’t released any information about a specific brand or stores selling the treat that may have been contaminated by the bacteria. However, the health agency has cautioned against the use of any pig ear treats by pet owners due to a significant number of tests proving the presence of multiple strains of the disease-causing enterobacteria in the treats. The news of the outbreak has forced several companies such as Pet Supplies Plus, Brutus & Barnaby, Berkley & Jensen, Tobyhanna, Lennox International and Dog Goods USA to recall their pig ear products.

People with weakened immune systems and kids are specifically vulnerable to the bacteria and hence should avoid being in contact with the treats. A total of 143 people from 35 states have been infected by the Salmonella strains. Of these, 33 have been hospitalized with 20% of the cases belonging to kids below the age of five.

“Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is the likely source of this outbreak. For this reason, the CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy any pig ear dog treats or feed them to their dogs,” said CDC in a statement on its website. The health agency is also urging the pet owners to dispose of any pig ear treats that they currently have in their possession in sealed containers so as to prevent other animals from eating them.

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