(NEXSTAR) – Health officials announced Thursday that multiple people, mostly babies, have been sickened after coming in contact with dog food involved in a growing recall over potential salmonella contamination.
The same day, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the voluntary recall by Texas-based Mid America Pet Food now includes six types of cat food along with over 25 dry dog food products.
So far there have been at least seven documented illnesses and one hospitalization tied to the dog food, spanning seven states: California, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Minnesota. Because many salmonella cases go unreported, the true number of cases may be higher, the CDC says.
“People in this outbreak got sick from touching recalled dog food, touching things like dog bowls that contained the dog food, or touching the poop or saliva of dogs that were fed the dog food,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement posted online. “Most of the sick people in this outbreak are infants.”
Six of the seven cases involved children under 1 year of age, with five cases reporting exposure to dogs, according to the CDC. In three of the cases there was confirmation that Mid America’s Victor pet food was fed to pets.
Additionally, the strain of salmonella that sickened all seven people was the same as that found in a sample of Victor brand dog food analyzed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The CDC advises that people regularly clean their pets bowls and placemats, as well as their own hands before and after handling pet food or treats, and make sure children wash their hands properly as well.
Products under recall
The FDA news release says that bags of Victor Super Premium Dog Foods, Wayne Feeds Dog Food, Eagle Mountain Pet Food and some Member’s Mark varieties with Best By dates before 10/31/24 may have been contaminated with salmonella at the company’s Mount Pleasant facility.
See images of the products under recall below:
The latest recall expands FDA announcements on Sept. 3 and Oct. 30 informing pet owners that the Texas manufacturer was recalling potentially harmful products. See the full list of products under recall here.
If you bought any of those bags of food, the FDA advises that you throw it away immediately after placing in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife can’t access it.
You should clean and disinfect all pet supplies in the home, including storage containers, bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, litter boxes, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have come into contact with, the FDA advises, adding that you should clean up feces in places where other people or animals might be exposed.
Salmonella can cause serious illness and even death, especially in people who are older or have weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Pets may not show symptoms of salmonella infection, but they may experience vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, loss of appetite and decreased activity.