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]

Recall Alert: Nestlé Cookie Dough May Contain Bits of Rubber

ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock via Getty Images
ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock via Getty Images

The holiday season—a.k.a. cookie baking season—is officially upon us. Before heating up your oven, check the labels on any pre-made cookie dough mixtures you have in your fridge at home. As Newsweek reports, Nestlé has voluntarily recalled more than two dozen of its ready-to-bake cookie dough products after finding bits of rubber in some batches.

Some of Nestlé's most popular items, like the tubs and logs of its Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough, are included in the 2019 recall. The decision to pull the products was made after the company received reports of "food-grade pieces of rubber" in some cookie doughs. According to a statement from Nestlé, the source of the rubber contamination has been identified and fixed. No consumers have reported getting sick from the cookie dough so far.

The recall consists entirely of ready-to-bake refrigerated cookie doughs with a batch code anywhere from 9189 to 9295. To find a product's batch code, look on the back of the package for the number listed after the "use or freeze-by" date and before the number 5753. If you have any of the recalled items in your fridge, just throw them away.

Items under the Nestlé Toll House Morsels, Nestlé Toll House Ice Cream Sandwiches, Nestlé Toll House Edible Cookie Dough, or Nestlé Professionals labels are not affected by the recall and are safe to eat.

You can find all 26 products recalled by Nestlé in the list below.

Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)
Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)
Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Dough (18oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (16.5oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (30oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Club Tub (80oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (36oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (80oz)
Nestlé Toll House Fall'n Leaves Cookie Dough (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Frozen II Cookie Dough (14oz)
Nestlé Toll House Holiday Chocolate Chip Tree Sprinkle (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Monster Munch (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Pinch of Grinch Cookie Dough (14oz)
Nestlé Toll House Triple Chip Cookie Dough Bar (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Chocolate Chip Lovers (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Turtles Cookie Bar (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House White Chip Macadamia Nut (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)
Nestlé Toll House Mini Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)
Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar (16oz)
Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Bar (16.5oz)
Nestlé Toll House Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bar (16.5oz)
Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Bar (16oz)
M&M'S Everyday Cookie Dough (14oz)
M&M'S Ghouls Mix Cookie Dough (14oz)
M&M'S Holiday Cookie Dough (14oz)

[h/t Newsweek]

CVS Pulls Zantac and Similar Heartburn Medications From Stores Over Cancer Concerns

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On September 28, CVS Pharmacy announced that it’s pulling some heartburn medications from its shelves until further notice, following an alert from the Food and Drug Administration that they may contain a cancer-causing ingredient.

CNN reports that the medication in question is ranitidine, and CVS will stop selling its store brand version and the more commonly known brand-name version Zantac. Though tests are still ongoing, the FDA has found that ranitidine contains N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a “probable human carcinogen,” according to a statement from CVS.

CVS’s voluntary suspension of sales is a “better safe than sorry” course of action—the FDA hasn’t issued a formal recall of Zantac/ranitidine or even suggested that users stop taking the medication. In its statement, CVS says that “the levels [of NDMA] that FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts found in common foods.” According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NDMA is also found in tobacco, cured meats, beer, fish, cheese, and even the air we breathe [PDF].

Ranitidine is a type of H2 receptor blocker, which decreases heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by preventing stomach cells from releasing excess acid. It isn't the only H2 receptor blocker on the market, so this might be a good time to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist about switching to a different one, like Pepcid (famotidine) or Tagamet (cimetidine).

The FDA said in a statement that it will continue investigating the potential risk of taking ranitidine and share its findings when available.

[h/t CNN]

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