Another pet food recall has made national headlines. This time the manufacturer is Mars Petcare (the company also owns the brand that produces the Wisdom Panel genetic test to determine dog breeds). And this time the contaminant is Salmonella.
Salmonella is a bacteria that can infect humans and animals. It is spread through contamination of meat or vegetables with feces. It is a common cause of food recalls for both pets and people. Last year there was a recall of bagged spinach due to fears of Salmonella contamination. Salmonella has also been involved in recalls of peanut butter, beef and chocolate.
The current recall occurred after the dog food, manufactured at a plant in Pennsylvania, was linked to illness in two people.
The humans who were sickened may have failed to wash their hands after handling the food. Alternatively, their pets may have contracted subclinical (non-symptomatic) cases of Salmonella, which could have passed to the owners through the pets’ feces.
Although I have yet to see a report of an animal sickened by the food involved in this recall, please be aware that Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and intestinal cramping in dogs and cats. Severe cases can be fatal.
And also please remember that it is a good idea to wash your hands after handling pet food–regardless of whether that food is on its way into your pet’s body, or on its way out!
For the official recall site containing a list of the affected brands, click here.