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Everything Greyhound > Greyhound Health and Nutrition > Fido's Food Could Make Kids Sick

Posted by: Beryl Aug 9 2010, 06:41 PM
Report: Fido's Food Could Make Kids Sick
Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Dog Food


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Posted: 12:36 am EDT August 9, 2010
Updated: 1:34 am EDT August 9, 2010

CHICAGO -- Fido's food may be making kids sick, a government report warns, detailing the first known salmonella outbreak in humans, mostly young children, linked to pet food.

The outbreak sickened 79 people in 21 mostly eastern states, between 2006 and 2008. Almost half of the victims were children aged 2 and younger.

Dry pet foods are an under-recognized source of salmonella infections in humans, and it's likely other illnesses since then were unknowingly caused by tainted pet food, said Casey Barton Behravesh, the report's lead author and a researcher at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least six unrelated pet food recalls have been issued this year by manufacturers because of possible salmonella contamination, Food and Drug Administration data show. FDA spokesman Ira Allen said there have been no reported salmonella illnesses linked to pet food since the 2006-08 outbreak.

A report about the outbreak was published online Monday by the medical journal Pediatrics.

There have been no known cases of human salmonella linked with wet pet food.

The outbreak was blamed on salmonella bacteria found in several brands of dry dog and cat food produced at a Mars Petcare US plant in Everson, Pa., including Pedigree and Special Kitty.

While young children were most often affected, there's no evidence that they got sick by eating pet food, Behravesh said. They probably became infected by touching affected animals or dirty pet food dishes, and then putting their hands in their mouths, she said.

Symptoms included bloody diarrhea and fever. At least 11 people were hospitalized; none died.

There were no reports of sick animals but investigators found salmonella bacteria in stool samples from pets without symptoms who ate tainted food.

The company recalled pet food made at the plant and permanently shuttered the plant in 2008 after an investigation failed to identify how the contamination occurred. Mars subsequently improved training and testing practices at its 17 U.S. plants, said company regulatory director Jill Franks.

Heating during pet food manufacturing generally kills salmonella germs. Behravesh said contamination may have occurred during a later process when food pellets were sprayed with flavor enhancers.

Duane Ekedahl, president of the Pet Food Institute, a manufacturers' trade group, said the public should not be unduly worried about pet food as a source of salmonella.

"Companies are very vigilant and in rare occasions when it occurs, products are pulled off the market," he said.

The study authors advise pediatricians to ask about contact with pets at doctor visits and when evaluating infectious disease symptoms.

To reduce infection risks at home, they also recommend:

Washing hands after contact with pets, pet food and pet bowls.

Routinely cleaning pet food bowls and feeding areas.

Keeping children younger than age 5 away from pet food and feeding areas.

Cleaning pets' food and water dishes in a separate sink or tub, not in the kitchen or bathtub.

Avoiding bathing infants in the kitchen sink.

Posted by: mountain4greys Aug 9 2010, 07:16 PM
Wow! Need to watch these young children.

Posted by: greydaddy Aug 12 2010, 11:53 PM

Posted by: Beryl Aug 13 2010, 07:15 AM
my pups bowls are washed in hot soapy water with a dollop of clorox in the water

Posted by: dad2paisley Aug 14 2010, 04:54 PM
Ours I put in the dishwasher.

Posted by: Beryl Aug 14 2010, 06:20 PM
no use for me to use a dishwasher for just me and the 3 pups would not be feasable to run one

Posted by: dad2paisley Aug 17 2010, 11:46 PM
I always have a full load of dishes. Hee Hee

Posted by: Beryl Aug 18 2010, 07:20 AM
yep you would everytime you post you are talking about food

Posted by: dad2paisley Aug 18 2010, 11:17 PM
QUOTE (Beryl @ Aug 18 2010, 07:20 AM)
yep you would everytime you post you are talking about food

Posted by: Beryl Aug 19 2010, 07:46 AM

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