When people think of food poisoning and contamination, they don’t often think about being contaminated by dog food. But the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is now looking at a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 21 people, and health officials blame Joey’s Jerky brand of dog treats.
The outbreak has led the parent company, Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations, LLC, to issue a recall of their Joey’s Jerky brand chicken jerky dog treat. DHHS officials have requested that customers get rid of the dog treats as soon as possible, by returning them to the store or just throwing them away. As of right now, there is nothing listed about the recall on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
While salmonella is the second most common food borne illness in the United States, it’s unusual for humans to contract the disease from pet foods. But through a thorough investigation, including interviews with those who fell ill, the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control was able to pinpoint the likely source of the outbreak. The New Hampshire Public Health Labs are working on confirming their contention.
Salmonella infections usually result from a human eating food that has been contaminated, due to contact with certain types of raw or undercooked meat, poultry and eggs. Unfortunately, with problems having to do with food handling and cross contamination, salmonella is becoming more common in other foods, including fruits, vegetables and even dog treats. That’s one reason it’s important that pet owners wash their hands thoroughly when they handle pet food or pet treats, especially when the food is made with meat.
Infection from salmonella often doesn’t require medical attention, and the affected person will feel mild discomfort for 3-7 days. But in some cases, salmonella infection can result in far more serious symptoms, including cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fever, body aches and severe dehydration. These symptoms can occur anytime within the first eight to 72 hours, and are especially acute in small children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems. In most cases, symptoms will last for about 4 days to a week.
In some very serious cases, victims could experience joint swelling, or quite possibly swelling in the eyes or in urinary or reproductive organs. Some cases of salmonella can also be life-threatening. There are no reports on whether dogs have become ill with salmonella infection to date.
The lesson to be learned here is to always wash your hands after coming in contact with pet food or treats. If you suspect you may have a salmonella infection, see a doctor immediately. If you believe you may have contracted it from contaminated pet food, contact the Food Poisoning Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm immediately, in order to preserve evidence and your rights.