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]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Children's Robitussin and Dimetapp Cough Medicines With Mislabeled Dosing Cups Pulled From Shelves

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Dimetapp and Robitussin, has recalled two of its children's cough medicines, CNN reports. The recall isn't related to the products' ingredients, but rather an error on the labels that could lead to dangerous overdoses.

The cough syrups impacted by the voluntary recall include Children's Robitussin Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM and Children's Dimetapp Cold and Cough. Recent lots of both items were produced with incorrectly labeled dosing cups. The 5-milliliter and 10-milliliter graduation lines were missing from the Robitussin cough syrup cups and the 10-milliliter graduation line was missing from the Dimetapp cups. That means cups for both products only had marks for 20 milliliters, which is higher than the recommended dose for children.

"There is a potential risk of accidental overdose if caregivers dispensing the syrup do not notice the discrepancies between the graduations printed on the dosing cups and the indicated amounts to be administered," GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare stated in a recall announcement published by the FDA.

A cough syrup overdose can lead to serious symptoms, such as elevated or lowered heart rate, fainting, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, and hallucinations. No adverse reactions have been connected to the faulty packaging, but consumers can reports incidents to the FDA online.

The recalled products were issued between February 5, 2020 and June 3, 2020. When checking your medicine cabinet, look for these numbers on the bottles:

  • Lots "02177" and "02178" for Children's Robitussin Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM (4 ounces), expiring January 2022.
  • Lot "CL8292" for Children's Dimetapp Cold and Cough (8 ounces), expiring September 2021.

[h/t CNN]