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Recalled Pig Ear Treats Infecting Both Man and Beast

a white labrador-looking dog looking up at the camera with a grin and panting
By Andrew Leonatti | Last updated on

Admit it. You’ve thought about it. If you have a pet, you’ve wondered what their food tastes like. Oh sure, you wouldn’t dare do it, but some of those treats smell just like bacon!

Well, the latest recall will stop that wondering in its tracks. Across 33 states, the chain retailer Pet Supplies Plus is voluntarily recalling its bulk pig ear dog treats after reports of salmonella sickening 45 people.

Man’s Best Friend?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 people who contracted salmonella in this latest outbreak needed to be hospitalized. Thankfully, there are no deaths reported. The CDC believes the bulk pig ears are the cause, after 89 percent of interviewed infected people reported having contact with a dog.

In a joint investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agencies have not been able to find the source of the outbreak. They note that prepackaged pig ear treats are not a part of this recall.

They also note that while dogs can also contract salmonella, they can pass along the bacteria to humans without any visible signs of infection. They warn that something as innocent as a dog licking your face after eating a contaminated treat can cause an infection. Both the CDC and FDA instruct people who have purchased the treats to:

  • Dispose of any remaining treats immediately
  • Clean any containers holding the treats
  • Store any pet food and treats out of reach of small children
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling the treats
  • Prevent dogs from licking your face, mouth or any wounds after they eat

What To Do if You Get Sick

Fortunately, most people who get salmonella only have to endure a few days of gastrointestinal distress. And while we may joke a little bit about this particular case, for some – such as those with weakened immune systems – a salmonella infection can have disastrous, even fatal consequences.

Many people stricken by salmonella or other food-borne illnesses have successfully taken legal action to recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages. In many cases, such as with pet food, the law regards liability for food-borne illness the same as any other defective product.

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