FDA makes a strong statement regarding pig ear dog treats, “advising that consumers avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers stop selling all pig ear treats at this time.”
From the FDA warning:
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State partners, is investigating a suspected link between pig ear pet treats and human cases of salmonellosis.
- As of July 31, 2019, CDC reports that there are 127 cases of human infection tied to exposure to pig ear pet treats with Salmonella enterica serotypes I 4,,12:i:-, Infantis, London, and Newport in 33 states. Twenty-six people have been hospitalized.
- The FDA has traced back some of the pig ear treats associated with cases of illness to sources in Argentina and Brazil. Two firms have recalled. Some of these treats have tested positive for Salmonella, and further testing is ongoing to identify the Salmonella strain(s).
- As of July 31, 2019, based on information gathered from cases and the traceback data gathered from FDA, the FDA and CDC are recommending that people avoid purchasing or feeding any pig ear pet treats at this time. If you have pig ear pet treats, safely discard them and thoroughly clean the areas where the treats have been.
- FDA is working with impacted firms to remove pig ear pet treats from the marketplace and identify places where they may have been distributed.
- Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their healthcare providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection.
- This is an ongoing investigation and FDA will provide the public with new information as it becomes available.
What is the problem?
FDA is coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state agencies to investigate 127 human cases of Salmonella serotypes I 4,,12:i:-, Infantis, London, and Newport across multiple states. Many of these cases have reported exposure to pig ear pet treats. FDA traceback of some of the treats indicates that they came from sources in Argentina and Brazil.
Testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) revealed that samples of pig ear pet treats collected from Pet Supplies Plus were positive for Salmonella London, Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Infantis. On July 3, 2019, Pet Supplies Plus notified the public about a recall of all bulk pig ear products supplied to all its retail locations by several different vendors, including Lennox Intl Inc.
Further traceback by FDA has found that many of the people who became ill had encountered pig ear pet treats that were distributed by Lennox Intl Inc. Lennox reports that it sourced these pig ears from Argentina and Brazil. FDA is working with Lennox and other firms to identify the source of the pig ear treats, how they became contaminated, and where they were distributed.
On July 26, Lennox notified the public about a recall. On July 30, the firm expanded that recall and issued an additional public notification. The FDA and CDC have identified 43 human illnesses in this Salmonella outbreak linked to Lennox product that were first isolated in November 2018.
To date, human Salmonella infections have been linked to pig ears imported from Argentina and Brazil. However, these pig ears do not account for all the illnesses in this outbreak. Pig ears in bulk bins (not packaged or wrapped) may be comingled from multiple sources which does not allow the products to be distinguished. In addition, effective product irradiation may not have occurred for bulk products and for packaged or individually wrapped products.
In addition to the existing Import Alert 72-03 (“Detention Without Physical Examination and Intensified Coverage of Pig Ears And Other Pet Treats Due To The Presence of Salmonella”) on pig ear pet treats, FDA is increasing its scrutiny of pig ears imported into the United States through sampling and examination.
What do consumers need to do?
The FDA and CDC recommend that people avoid purchasing or feeding any pig ear pet treats at this time. This recommendation may change as more information becomes available.
If you have pig ear treats, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it. Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products.
In general, if you choose to feed treats like pig ears, practice good hygiene by: monitoring your pet while they have the treat, picking up the treat when they are done with it, keeping treats away from small children, cleaning the areas the treat contacted, washing hands, and not allowing your pet to lick you, your family members, or surfaces in your home.
What do retailers need to do?
FDA and CDC recommend that retailers, including online retailers, stop selling all pig ear pet treats.
Retailers, distributors and other operators who have offered pig ears for sale should wash and sanitize bulk bins, other storage containers, and any surfaces (e.g., counters, displays, floors) that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products. In addition, you should advise employees and customers to wash their hands after handling pet treats and food. Carefully dispose of pig ear pet treats in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it. Alternatively, retailers who choose not to immediately dispose of pig ear pet treats should securely and safely store packaged product while they determine next steps. FDA will release additional information about the investigation as it becomes available.
How can I report a human or animal illness related to pet food?
FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.
For more information from FDA visit: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigates-contaminated-pig-ear-pet-treats-connected-human-salmonella-infections
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Become a member of our pet food consumer Association. Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.
Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 5,000 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. Click Here to preview Petsumer Report. www.PetsumerReport.com
The 2019 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here to learn more.