The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of salmonella in humans that may be connected to pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. The pet foods that contains the deadly bacteria was manufactured in Gaston, South Carolina. The CDC reports an outbreak with fourteen people being infected in nine different states. This is a rare strain of salmonella and has been diagnosed in Alabama, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, Missouri and New Jersey. The foods may have been distributed in parts of Canada as well. The infections are believed to be caused by either coming into contact with dogs that consumed the tainted food or direct contact with the food.
The pet foods that have been recalled include Diamond Naturals, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Premium Edge, 4 Health, Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Apex, Professional, Kirkland Signature and Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain. Diamond has posted a list on their website for further information at DiamondPetRecall.com with the following message:
“Diamond Pet Foods has voluntarily recalled some brands of dry dog and cat food that it manufactured in its Gaston, S.C. facility between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 due to potential Salmonella contamination. The brands that were recalled on May 4 have not tested positive for Salmonella. The company is recalling certain batches of these brands, however, as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and well-being of customers and their pets. Consumers should check this website for the production codes and best-before dates on the bags of recalled food, and discontinue feeding it. To learn whether or not the brand of dog or cat food you use is included in the recall, please select it from the list below. Please note: we have issued CORRECTED production codes for all the brands below except for Apex. Each brand's page will have the CORRECTED production codes.”
Diamond brand dog foods are marketed as “holistic” and “all natural”. Their website says “Diamond and Diamond Naturals dog and cat food offer all of the benefits of a highly digestible, super premium pet food without the premium price. Pet owners, breeders, veterinarians and hunters rely on the premium quality and exceptional value of our formulas for happy, healthy pets.”
The CDC is still trying to determine how the outbreak occurred. Humans coming into contact with the food, bowls that contained the food or pets licking their faces can cause the disease to spread to humans. It is important to wash your hands frequently with hot soapy water before and after handling pet food. The safest measure at this point is to clear any potentially contaminated foods from your pantry or cupboard.
In 2007 nineteen people in seventeen states were contaminated by pet food manufactured by Mars Petcare US, Inc. the makers of Pedigree, Nutro, Wiskas, Cesar Canine Cuisine Goodlife Recipe and Sheba pet foods.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning can include nausea, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If symptoms go unchecked it can lead to hospitalization. The infections can get into the bloodstream and lead to death if it is not promptly treated with antibiotics. The most susceptible to getting seriously ill are infants, the elderly and persons with impaired immune systems.