The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it is now coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and state agencies to investigate human cases of salmonellosis related to several salmonella serotypes that are suspected to be linked to exposure to pig ear pet treats from Argentina and Brazil.
CDC announced that a total of 127 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella, which was reported from 33 states. Twenty-six ill people have been hospitalized, with no deaths reported.
FDA and CDC are advising that consumers avoid all pig ear pet treats and that retailers stop selling all pig ear treats at this time.
“If you have pig ear treats, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it. Wash your hands thoroughly, and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products,” FDA said on its website.
If you do choose to feed treats like pig ears, FDA recommends practicing good hygiene by: monitoring your pet while it has the treat, picking up the treat when the pet is done with it, keeping treats away from small children, cleaning the areas the treat contacted, washing your hands and not allowing your pet to lick you, your family members or surfaces in your home.
On July 3, 2019, Pet Supplies Plus announced a recall of all bulk pig ears from its stores in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
“Bulk pig ears were stocked in open bins. Prepackaged branded pig ears are not included in this voluntary recall,” Pet Supplies Plus said.
On July 26, 2019, Lennox Intl Inc., a distributor of pig ear pet treats, initiated a recall for some of the pig ear pet treats involved in this outbreak. On July 30, the firm announced an expanded recall.
The recalled products were shipped to nationwide distributors and/or retail stores from Nov. 1, 2018, to July 3, 2019, the company said.
The product comes in an eight-pack branded pouch under UPC 742174 995163 and 742174994166 or packaged individually shrink wrapped under UPC 0385384810 and 742174P35107. All UPC codes are located on the front label of the package. Individually shrink-wrapped packages may be labeled with “Lennox” or without brand information.