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Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Frozen Feeder Rodents (Final Update)

This outbreak appears to be over. However, contact with both live and frozen feeder rodents can be a source of human Salmonella infections. You should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching frozen or live feeder rodents.

Advice to Pet Owners

FDA advises pet owners who have Reptile Industries Inc.’s Arctic Mice brand frozen rodents purchased from PetSmart from January 11, 2014 through May 21, 2014, to dispose of the product by placing it in a sealed container in the trash so that no children, pets, or other animals, such as wildlife, may be able to reach it. 

Check your home and your freezer for frozen feeder rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc.:

  • Frozen feeder rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. were sold under the Arctic Mice brand at PetSmart stores nationwide.
  • The warning applies to all frozen feeder rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. purchased from January 11, 2014 to May 21, 2014.
  • These frozen feeder rodents have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and can make people sick.
  • Pet owners should dispose of these frozen feeder rodents in a sealed container in the trash so that no children, pets, or other animals can get to them.
  • Frozen feeder rodents are sometimes repackaged by other companies and pet stores. These packages might be unlabeled. It is important for pet owners to ask the place of purchase where their frozen feeder rodents came from.

The advice below is to protect pet owners from human Salmonella infections from all feeder rodents, regardless of where they were purchased.
Wash your hands:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling frozen rodents or anything in the area where they are stored, thawed, prepared, or fed to reptiles or amphibians.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling live rodents or anything in the area where they live.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizers until you are able to wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

Clean up properly when handling feeder rodents:

  • Keep frozen rodents away from areas where food and drink are stored, prepared, served, or consumed.
  • Have dedicated storage containers and utensils that are used only for feeder rodents and are never used for human food.
  • Avoid using microwave ovens or kitchen utensils used for human food to thaw or handle frozen rodents.
  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces that have been in contact with feeder rodents. A bleach solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) water is an effective disinfectant.

Be careful with children and other people at higher risk for Salmonella infection:

  • Children younger than 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems should not touch or handle frozen or live feeder rodents.
  • Don’t keep reptiles, amphibians, or rodents in child care centers or homes with children younger than 5 years.

People who think they might have become ill from contact with frozen feeder rodents should talk with their health care providers:

  • Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
  • Read the Signs & Symptoms for more information.

« Read the full Outbreak Investigation

 
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