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People Sickened by Salmonella Dog Food

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Gaston, SCYet another food poisoning outbreak was reported this weekend, but this one isn’t the run-of-the-mill food recall or contaminated food outbreak news. At least fourteen people spanning nine states have been sickened by salmonella after being “in contact” with dry dog food made by Diamond Pet Foods. Not one dog has been reported sick.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) this rare strain of bacteria, salmonella infantis, infected people in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and sent five people to hospital. Reports came into the CDC from early last October to April 22 of this year.

Diamond Pet Foods has recalled the following products:
• bags of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food
• Diamond Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
• Adult Light Formula dry dog food
• Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food.

Diamond Pet Foods has further issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant between Dec. 9 and April 7. The recall includes pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild. For a complete list of recalls, visit Food Safety News

CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell thinks these reports could be the tip of the iceberg—most pet owners are likely unaware that kibble could cause them to contract salmonella. "Our folks are really wanting people to be aware of it,” Russell said. “They want to be aware that this is causing people to get sick because they may have product in their homes. For every one that is reported, there may be 29 others.”

Obviously people aren’t contracting salmonella from exposure to the product at the Diamond Pet Foods factory because the CDC reported people sickened in at least nine states. According to the CDC statement, seven of 10 ill people said they had had contact with a dog in the week before becoming sick and five sick people recalled the type of dog food they “contacted”.

The CDC says that people can contract the illness by failing to wash their hands after handling the dry food or after handling their pet while it is sick. No one has reported any dogs sickened by salmonella (dogs can get salmonella but it is rare), which begs the question: could humans be consuming kibble?

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