Information for Pet Owners

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food (Final Update)

Posted July 18, 2012 6:00 PM ET

Salmonella is an important cause of human illness in the United States. More information about Salmonella, and steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection, can be found on the CDC Salmonella Web Page and the CDC Vital Signs Web Page.

What pet food has been recalled?

Multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in Gaston, South Carolina have been linked with human illnesses. Diamond Pet Foods has expanded its recall of some brands of dry dog and cat food manufactured in this facility.

More information on the recalled products, including production codes, and distribution information, can be found on:

How do I know if my dog or cat has Salmonella infection?

  • Dogs and cats that become ill from Salmonella infection generally will have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit.
  • Some cats do not have diarrhea, but will have a decreased appetite, fever, and excess salivation.
  • Some dogs or cats may have Salmonella infection but may not appear to be sick.

If your dog or cat has these signs of illness or you are concerned that your pet may have Salmonella infection, please contact your pet’s veterinarian. Let your veterinarian know if your pet recently consumed a recalled product. Do not feed your pet any more of the recalled products. Dispose of the products immediately.

How are Salmonella infections diagnosed and treated in dogs, cats, and other animals?

See your veterinarian. A veterinary examination and laboratory tests can be used to diagnose Salmonella infection in animals. Salmonella infections may require prompt treatment with supportive care and fluids. Treatment of Salmonella infections with antibiotics may be necessary for severe cases and hospitalization in a veterinary clinic may be required. Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of advice on your pet’s health.

What can I do to prevent the spread of Salmonella germs from my pets?

Salmonella infections are a zoonotic disease, meaning that the infection can spread between animals and people. Salmonella germs are transmitted from animals to humans and humans to humans by the fecal oral route. Salmonella germs can be shed in the stool of pets for 4 to 6 weeks after infection. If your pet is diagnosed with Salmonella infection, please talk to your veterinarian about taking precautions to minimize spread of this germ. A mild bleach solution can be used to clean areas that may be contaminated with Salmonella germs.

Follow these simple guidelines to prevent getting a Salmonella infection from your pet:

  • After contact with animal feces (stool), wash your hands well with soap and running water. Wash your hands as directed in the handwashing instructions.
  • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and running water after handling or feeding your pet. Wash your hands as directed in the handwashing instructions.
  • Clean up after your pet. If you have a dog, use a plastic bag to pick up the stool, and clean up the stool while on walks or from the yard and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag. If you have a cat, scoop the litter box daily and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  • Do not share food with your pets.

My pet ate a recalled product and the pet or my household member became ill. What should I do?

If anyone in your household becomes ill with diarrhea and has bloody stools, fever, or diarrhea lasting more than 3 days, he or she should seek medical care. If you believe you or someone you know became ill from contact with a contaminated food, including dry pet food, please contact your county or city health department. Please refer to your state health department website to find more information about how to contact your local health department. Reporting illnesses to your local health department helps them identify potential foodborne disease outbreaks. By investigating foodborne disease outbreaks, public health officials learn about possible problems in food production, distribution and preparation that may cause illness.

If your pet develops diarrhea or appears sick, contact your veterinarian. Do not feed your pet any more of the recalled products. Dispose of the products immediately.

You can report illnesses associated with pet food in two ways: (1) call the FDA Consumer Complaint CoordinatorExternal in your state, or (2) report electronically through the Safety Reporting PortalExternal. Reports should include product details such as brand name, production code (Example: BDR0105E2XJW), expiration date (Example: Best by 3-APRIL-2013), manufacturer or distributor, and location of purchase. Reports also should include medical information.

More information regarding How to Report a Pet Food Complaint can be found on the FDA websiteExternal.

I’ve already submitted a complaint to FDA, when will I get a response?

In each case, the information the veterinarian or consumer furnishes is evaluated by FDA staff to determine what follow-up is needed.

Additional information on what happens when a problem is reported can be found on the FDA websiteExternal.

How should I dispose of a recalled product, including pet food or treats?

Any product that is on the recall list should be disposed of in a safe manner. If you have a recalled pet product in your household, do not feed it to your pet or other animals. Any recalled product should be thrown away to prevent Salmonella infections in humans, pets, or other animals. This product should be disposed of in a closed plastic bag and placed in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it. If you touch the product, wash your hands as directed in the handwashing instructions.