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Health Department Warns Consumers About Dog Food Salmonella Risk

Contaminated food voluntarily recalled by manufacturer

August 24th, 2007

HARRISBURG – Department of Health officials continue to warn customers about the importance of proper handling of pet food as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests confirm the presence of salmonella in two brands of dog food. This reminder comes after an Aug. 21 voluntary recall of select Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula and Krasdale Gravy dry dog food by Mars Petcare US. These products were produced in the company’s Everson, PA, plant.

These recalls are due to contamination of finished product with Salmonella Schwarzengrund, the same species of salmonella that has caused 25 cases of human illness in Pennsylvania since the beginning of 2006. Laboratory investigations found that the fingerprint pattern of the Salmonella Schwarzengrund strain in the human cases and the pattern found in the recalled pet food are the same.

Based on the low number of human illnesses over a 20-month time period, it appears that the overall risk associated with dry pet food is low. The department has received no specific complaints of human illness related to the two recalled products. The department is in the process of investigating whether other products may be associated with the human illnesses.

The Department of Health advises consumers that pet food should not be considered sterile and any pet food product could potentially be a source for human illness. Regardless of what pet food you are serving to your pet, it is important to follow storage and handling recommendations issued in the Department of Health’s Aug.10 press release, especially when there are infants, young children or people in poor health in the home.

The Department of Health will continue to work with pet food companies and with state and federal regulatory officials to reduce the risk of illness associated with pet foods.

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Troy Thompson
Department of Health
(717) 787-1783

 
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