Food Guidelines

FDA Advises Dog Owners Not to Purchase or Feed ANY Pig Ear Pet Treats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state agencies to investigate 143 human cases of salmonellosis related to several types of Salmonella with a suspected link to pig ear pet treats, some of which originated from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

The FDA and CDC are advising consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. A total of 143 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 35 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the CDC’s Map of Reported Cases page.

Lennox Intl Inc., a distributor of pig ear pet treats, has recalled some of the treats involved in this outbreak. Recently, Pet Supplies Plus initiated a recall of bulk pig ears after samples tested by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tested positive for Salmonella. Several other brands have also issued recalls after the bacteria was discovered in tested samples.

The CDC compiled the latest facts in connection with the pig ear dog treat-related Salmonella outbreak cases:

  • CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy or feed any pig ear dog treats, including any that may already be in homes.
  • People can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate the treats. Dogs might get sick after eating them.
  • 16 ill people have been added to this investigation since the last update on July 31, 2019.
  • 143 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 35 states.
    • Of 110 ill people with available information, 33 (30%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
    • 26 illnesses (20%) are among children younger than 5 years.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is the likely source of this outbreak. For this reason, CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy any pig ear dog treats or feed them to their dogs.
  • State health and regulatory officials in several states and the FDA have tested pig ear dog treats at various suppliers and identified many different strains of Salmonella.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

If there are pig ear dog treats currently in your possession, the CDC recommends they be thrown away in a secure container so that pets and other animals cannot access them at home or once they enter landfills.

Pet owners that have been in possession of ANY pig ear dog treats are urged to thoroughly wash containers, countertops, bowls, shelves or any surface where the treats were stores and to wash hands with soap and water.

“The FDA takes seriously our responsibility to protect both human and animal health,” said Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Multiple products have tested positive for numerous types of Salmonella resulting in two company recalls to date. Given this and the links to human illness, we believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products. We also continue to advise those who may have come into contact with potentially contaminated products to practice safe hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands and disinfecting any surfaces that have touched pig ear pet treats. The FDA will provide additional updates as our investigation further progresses.”

This is an ongoing investigation and the FDA will provide the public with new information as it becomes available.

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