Food Guidelines

FDA & CDC Update on Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pig Ear Dog Treats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated more than 150 human cases of Salmonella poisoning with a suspected link to pig ear pet treats. On October 30, 2019, both agencies dropped their warnings to avoid buying or feeding pig ear treats to dogs, except recalled treats.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to contact with pig ear pet treats.

According to the CDC, the Salmonella outbreak appears to be over, though a definitive cause for the outbreak was not determined.

Salmonella contamination was found in several types of pig ear treats, but no single supplier, distributor or common brand was identified that could account for all of the 154 illnesses across 34 states.

The agencies offered the following advice for pet owners:

  • Wash your hands.
    • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling pig ear treats, other pet treats, and pet food.
  • Keep kids safe.
    • Keep pig ear treats away from children.
    • Pick up treats when your pet is done with them.
  • Shop safely.
    • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching unpackaged dog food or treats, including products in bulk bins or on store shelves.
  • Do not feed any recalled pig ear treats to your dog. Throw them away or return them to the store where you bought them for a refund.
    • Even if some of the recalled pig ear treats were fed to your dog and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to your dog.
    • Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held any pig ears with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
  • How can I report my dog’s illness if I think it’s related to pig ear treats?
    • FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.
  • See CDC’s Pet Food Safety webpage for more tips on staying healthy while feeding pets.

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