HUMAN ILLNESS INVOLVED
Tainted Dog Food Sickens 14 People
In Food Safety News, May 4th 2012, reporter Mary Rosthschild writes:---“ fourteen people have been sickened with Salmonella Infantis infections in a 9-state outbreak linked to dog food. At least five of the individuals have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.---Multiple brands of Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food - including several that have been recalled in recent days - are the likely source of the human illnesses, either through contact with the contaminated food or through handling an animal that has eaten the tainted kibble. The dog food was produced at a single manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
How many dogs may have been sickened was not mentioned in the CDC report. In some recall notices, Diamond Pet Foods has claimed that no dog illnesses have been reported. Those recall alerts from the company did not reveal that human cases of infection were being investigated.
According to the CDC, routine tests by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development first detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 2.
PulseNet, the national surveillance system for foodborne illnesses, then spotted several cases of human Salmonella Infantis infections with a genetic fingerprint identical to that found in the dog food, the CDC said.---
---Missouri and North Carolina each confirmed 3 cases related to the dog food outbreak. Ohio reported two cases while Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey , Pennsylvania and Virginia each reported single cases.
"There have been numerous human outbreaks linked to pet food," said food safety attorney Bill Marler, managing partner at Marler Clark (publisher of Food Safety News). "It again shows how important food safety is, both to your pet and your family."
According to the CDC, dogs and cats infected with Salmonella usually have diarrhea and may seem lethargic, but they also can carry the infection and not appear to be sick. Humans can become infected by touching the animals, their food, or their environments such as food bowls, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after the contacts.
Consumers with questions about recalled dog food may contact Diamond Pet Foods at telephone number 800-442-0402 or visit www.diamondpetrecall.com.”
In my opinion, while the manufactured pet food industry surveillance system has proven effective in this instance in helping prevent a major food-borne disease epidemic, it is the inhumane ways in which farmed animals are raised in factory farms and feedlots, handled and processed, that need to be addressed and changed, as I stress and document in my book Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health.