The CDC Warns That Just Touching Contaminated Pig Ear Dog Treats Can Make Humans Sick

Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images
Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images

Following concerns this week about a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella tied to pig ear dog treats, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have passed along further clarification. Because the agencies cannot link the outbreak to any one supplier, they advise not to buy or feed any pig ear treats to animals. Just as importantly, they caution humans shouldn’t even be touching them.

According to the CDC, a total of 127 human cases of Salmonella poisoning reported in 33 states have been linked to the dog treats, which are typically dehydrated and intact pig ears—though they may also come from other parts of a swine—that often have added flavoring. By chewing on or consuming the ears, animals can contract Salmonella, the bacteria that causes foodborne illness and prompts symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and fever and sometimes requires hospitalization. In pets, symptoms may also include bloody diarrhea and fatigue.

A dog enjoys a pig ear dog treat
Rosalie, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The CDC and FDA are telling consumers to avoid touching these pig ears altogether because Salmonella can easily be passed from their surface to human hands. If hands are not washed, the bacteria can spread to other surfaces or to a person’s mouth, causing infection. A dog who has just consumed Salmonella and then licks someone’s face or open wound can also pass along the bacteria.

The CDC has examined treats from a variety of suppliers, including some that claim to have been irradiated to kill bacteria. They have yet to isolate the outbreak to a single source. All pig ear treats, regardless of brand, should be discarded and surfaces or containers they’ve touched should be washed with soap and water.

[h/t CNN]

Romaine Lettuce Recalled After Another National E. Coli Outbreak

TomFoldes/iStock via Getty Images
TomFoldes/iStock via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a food safety alert cautioning people against eating any romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, due to potential E. coli contamination. According to NBC Washington, 67 cases of E. coli have been reported so far, and 39 people have been hospitalized.

The recall applies to any product that contains Salinas-grown romaine lettuce, including whole heads or hearts of romaine, organic or baby romaine, salad wraps with romaine, and packages of pre-cut lettuce or salad mixes with romaine.

In a statement, the CDC explained that most romaine lettuce products name the harvest location on the label, which might be printed on a sticker or directly on the packaging. You should toss all romaine products grown in Salinas, as well as anything that doesn’t specify a harvest location at all. If you’re not sure if there’s romaine in your salad mix or wrap, don’t take the chance—throw it out. However, no cases have been linked to hydroponic or greenhouse-grown romaine, so anything labeled “indoor grown” is technically still safe to eat.

Though the CDC is also advising restaurants and retailers to exercise the same caution and get rid of any romaine that might be from Salinas, it’s best for consumers to look at the labels in stores themselves or double-check with restaurant employees just to make sure.

You should also thoroughly clean and disinfect any parts of your refrigerator where you’ve stored romaine lettuce, to prevent bacteria from hitching a ride on your delicious Thanksgiving leftovers.

And, even if you live several states away from California, there’s still a pretty good chance that Salinas-grown romaine is shipped to your region—the E. coli cases have been reported in 19 states across the country, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The Food and Drug Administration is still investigating the outbreak, but it has been confirmed that this particular strain of bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, is the same one responsible for recalls of leafy greens and romaine lettuce in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

[h/t NBC Washington]

Prepared Salads Sold at Target, Walmart, and Aldi Have Been Recalled Over E. Coli Concerns

samael334/iStock via Getty Images
samael334/iStock via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday that Missa Bay, LLC is recalling more than 75,000 pounds of pre-packaged salads after one tested positive for E. coli. News Channel 9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, reports that the products were made between October 14 and October 16, and were sold at Target, Aldi, Walmart, and other stores.

According to the USDA’s statement, the Maryland Department of Health found traces of E. coli O157:H7 on the lettuce in a Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Caesar Salad, and all products with lettuce from the same lot are included in the recall. You can see the full list of salads here.

Missa Bay, LLC is based in Swedesboro, New Jersey, and they ship to these states: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If you have any salad bowls in your refrigerator at the moment, toss any with the establishment number “EST. 18502B” and “Use by” dates from October 29 through November 1. It’s a good opportunity to sweep the corners of your fridge for any other expired products, so you can make room for next week’s Thanksgiving leftovers.

Wondering how exactly how food contamination is discovered, tested, and dealt with? Find out the anatomy of a food recall here.

[h/t News Channel 9]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER