CDC Investigation Updates: Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Backyard Poultry; Pig Ear Dog Treats

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC has posted updates regarding  two separate multistate Salmonella illness outbreaks, one linked to contact with poultry in backyard flocks and one linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.

Update: Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry 

  • Since the last update on June 13, 2019, an additional 489 ill people have been added to this investigation.
  • Five additional types of Salmonella were added to this investigation, which increased the number of cases associated with the outbreak. Interviews with patients or their families and laboratory information confirmed the cases were linked to backyard poultry.
  • There have been 768 ill people reported from 48 states, including 122 people who have been hospitalized.
  • Two deaths have been reported; one in Ohio and one in Texas. Please contact the individual state health departments for more information on those deaths.
  • We usually see an increase in Salmonella infection linked to live poultry in the spring and summer when more people are purchasing chicks, ducklings and other live poultry. Since 2000, more than 75 outbreaks of Salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard poultry.
  • The largest number of Salmonella illnesses linked to backyard poultry in outbreaks occurred in 2017, when 1,120 people got sick and one person died.
  • The people who got sick reported getting chicks and ducklings from places such as agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.
  • People can get sick from Salmonella after touching poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching poultry or anything in their environment. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.
  • Do not let backyard poultry inside the house. Be especially careful to keep them out of areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens and outdoor patios.

Update: Salmonella infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats

  • Since the last update on July 3, 2019, 48 ill people and three additional Salmonella serotypes have been added to this investigation.
  • There have been 93 ill people have been reported from 27 states, including 20 people who have been hospitalized.
  • No deaths have been reported.
  • On July 3, 2019, Pet Supplies Plus recalledexternal icon bulk pig ears stocked in open bins because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • Salmonella infection can cause illness in both people and in dogs.
  • Do not feed recalled pig ears to your dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.
  • A common supplier of pig ear treats in this outbreak has not been identified.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

About Salmonella:

 Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after eating contaminated food.

  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • See your healthcare provider if you are concerned about symptoms, such as a high fever (temperature over 102˚F), blood in your poop, diarrhea, or frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquid down.
  • More information on pet food safety can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/publications/pet-food-safety.html.

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

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Page last reviewed: July 23, 2019