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Tainted Dog Food Sickens 16 People

UPDATE: As of May 11, the number of people who have become ill increased from 14 to 16. For a current list of recalled products, click here.

dry dog food in bowlDiamond Pet Foods dry dog food tainted with a rare strain of Salmonella has sickened 14 people in nine states, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report released today.

Since April 6, Diamond Pet Foods has recalled several formulas of its dry dog food. Since then, Apex, Canidae, Natural Balance, Solid Gold and Wellness have recalled some of their products that were made in the same plant.

All of the food was manufactured at the same South Carolina plant that produced contaminated food that killed 23 dogs in 2005. Two years later, Diamond Pet Foods paid $3.1 million to settle a 2009 class-action suit filed by consumers whose dogs had been sickened or died.

In this latest outbreak, five of the 14 people who were infected with Salmonella Infantis have had to be hospitalized. In all of the cases, the people were sickened either by not washing their hands after handling the food, or by coming into contact with their dog’s feces. None of them actually ate the food.

There have been no reported cases of dogs becoming ill from the food.

Salmonella germs can be passed from pets to people by “handling contaminated food, not washing your hands properly after handling food, or through the stool of pets, where Salmonella germs can be shed for four to six weeks after a pet is infected,” an FDA spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires.

Among the symptoms of a Salmonella infection in humans are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever, according to the Mayo Clinic.  The symptoms usually last four to seven days.

The FDA discovered the link between the Salmonella outbreak and Diamond Pet Foods after testing opened bags of the dog food at the victims’ homes.

Diamond Pet Foods has not commented on the Salmonella outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises pet parents to check their homes for the recalled products and discard them. Do not handle the dry dog food. If you think you may have Salmonella poisoning, see your health care provider.

Diamond Pet Foods can be contacted at 800-442-0402 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or go to diamondpetrecall.com.

Complete recall information:

PHOTO: Ohiopetwatch

Laura Goldman

Laura Goldman is senior social media writer for i Love Dogs, Inc. She does love dogs. And elephants and turtles. Along with writing about the loves of her life, Laura likes to play with her two pound pups and tell anyone who'll listen just how awesome Pit Bulls are.

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May 4, 2012 By : Category : DOG NEWS Tags:
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