Michigan News: Pig ear pet treats sold in bulk potentially contaminated with Salmonella

LANSING, MI (STL.News) – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) yesterday issued a consumer advisory for pig ears sold in bulk at retailers statewide because the pet treats have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  Consumers who have purchased bulk pig ear products may wish to avoid giving them to their pets and consider discarding them.

MDARD is working cooperatively with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on an investigation of Salmonella possibly linked to pig ears.

Samples of bulk pig ears were collected by MDARD feed inspectors from two retailers and tested positive for Salmonella at MDARD’s Geagley Laboratory.  Both retailers have voluntarily removed these bulk pig ear products from sale.

MDARD inspectors also collected samples of other brands of individually wrapped or bagged pig ears being sold at multiple retail locations.  These samples tested negative for Salmonella.

“It’s not clear why some brands of pig ears have tested positive for Salmonella and others have not.  Pet owners should consider the possibility of Salmonella contaminating pig ear products before feeding them to their pets.  As an added precaution, pet owners should wash their hands after handling pig ears,” said Jeffrey Zimmer, acting director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.  Some pets will have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.  Pets exposed to contaminated food can be infected without showing symptoms.  If your pet has consumed this product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.  Infected animals can also shed Salmonella through their feces and saliva, spreading pathogens into the home environment and to humans and other animals in the household.

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