Pig Ear Recall: FDA Warns Against Buying and Feeding Pig Ears

Today the FDA is warning pet owners and retailers of pet products to stop selling, buying, and feeding pig ear treats amid multiple pig ear recall announcements. More details below.

Pig Ear Recall: FDA Warns Against Buying and Feeding Pig Ears

Pet owners are familiar with pet food and treat recalls being the result of pet illness, but the recent FDA warning and pet treat recall is more a matter of human safety.

Tainted Treats in the Pig Ear Recall Tied to Argentina and Brazil

As of July 21st, the Center for Disease Control has reports of 127 human cases of salmonellosis; infections that are suspected to be directly linked to pig ear pet treats. So far, twenty-six of those infected have been reported as requiring hospitalization and 24 of the 127 cases have involved children under 5 years old. The FDA has traced some of the tainted pig ears responsible for the outbreak back to sources in Brazil and Argentina.

FDA Identified Multi-Drug Resistant Salmonella Strains

When tested by the FDA, pig ear treats from multiple suppliers revealed multiple salmonella strains. There are more than 2,000 different types of salmonella. As if this weren’t serious enough, the CDC has also revealed that some of these strains are multi-drug resistant.

33 U.S. States Affected By Recalled Pig Ears

The outbreak of salmonellosis has now grown to incorporate 33 U.S. states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The largest concentration of cases falling in Iowa state, followed by Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

Salmonellosis in Humans

Salmonellosis can affect any and all populations and symptoms tend to be most severe in infants, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis in Humans

Symptoms related to salmonellosis infection in humans include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration (due to diarrhea)
  • Abdominal cramps

Symptoms tend to appear between 12 and 24 hours after exposure to the salmonella bacteria and usually last from 4 to 7 days.

Does Salmonellosis Require Hospitalization?

Most people suffering from salmonella infection are able to recuperate at home and recover from their infection with rest and plenty of fluids. In some cases, however, complications can occur and require hospitalization; this happens most frequently in the at-risk populations mentioned above.

Does Salmonellosis Require Antibiotics?

In severe cases of salmonellosis, antibiotics may be prescribed, but in healthy populations, they are generally not necessary.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Salmonella Tainted Products?

Yes, however, most healthy dogs don’t clinical signs of salmonellosis. Older dogs, those who are immunocompromised or have existing health conditions, and young dogs may, however, exhibit symptoms.

It is also important to note that salmonella is a zoonotic bacteria, meaning that it can be passed from one species to another.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis in Dogs

When dogs do exhibit symptoms of salmonellosis, those symptoms MAY include:

  • Diarrhea (which may contain mucus or blood)
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration (due to diarrhea)
  • Depression
  • Abortion
  • Death

If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms above and/or if you suspect that they may have salmonellosis call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian clinic right away.

It’s also important to note that salmonella can be spread through feces, so be sure to pick up after your dog right away (although this is something that should be done regardless of illness!)

Two Related Pig Ear Recalls Since July 2nd, 2019

According to Dog Food Advisor, there has been two related pig ear recalls since July 2nd, 2019 including:

It is unsure whether more recalls are to follow but in light of the FDA warning to avoid purchasing, selling, or feeding ANY pig ear dog treats, it’s a good indication that there will be more recalls to come.

Recent Pigs Ear Recall One Event Among Many

The recent pig ear recall event is just one among many.

  • In 2011 Bravo recalled pig ear treats due to possible salmonella contamination, as did Blackman Industries of Kansas City, Kansas, Keys Manufacturing, and Jones Natural.
  • In 2012 Boots and Barkley issued a voluntary recall on their pig ear dog treats for potential salmonella contamination.
  • In 2017 Eurocan issued a voluntary recall of their pig ear dog treats for potential salmonella contamination.

What To Do If You Have Any Pig Ear Dog Treats

The FDA warns consumers and retailers to dispose of any pig ear dog treats (even those that have not yet been recalled). Dispose of the treats by sealing any opened bags securely, placing them inside a second sealed or tied bag and putting them in your trashcan.

Sealing any open treats and placing them inside a tied bag is particularly important because it prevents anyone who handles your trash from coming into contact with them. It also helps to reduce the chances that any wild animals will come into contact with them.

Once you have disposed of the treats make sure to completely sanitize anything that may have come into contact with them and, of course, wash your hands thoroughly.

Filing Complaints

If you would like to file a complaint in regard to any FDA-regulated pet food product you can do so by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area or by going to the FDA pet food complaints webpage.

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