Pig Ear Dog Treats Remain a Source of Salmonella Infection for Households


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently concluded an investigation of an outbreak of salmonellosis involving 154 cases and 35 hospitalizations attributed to contact with pig-ear treats for pets. The realization that treats were potentially infectious emerged in 1999 following an investigation in Canada.


Contaminated pet food remains a source of infection with an extensive outbreak in 2012 caused by Salmonella Infantis associated with dried dog food. The recent trend to feeding pets raw food has extended the range of pathogens introduced into homes and has resulted in infection of both pets and their owners. 


Dr. Colin Basler, a veterinary epidemiologist in the Foodborne Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the CDC has investigated cases of foodborne infection attributed to Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria from pet food.  Two major outbreaks of foodborne infection were associated with raw turkey and raw chicken products representing a relatively new mechanism of infection for families.