Pet Food Warning!

May 15, 2008 2:38:04 PM PDT
Federal officials say a pet food recall based in Pennsylvania has now led to concerns over salmonella cases in humans who handled the food. This is especially worrisome news for folks here at the dog park today, people started getting sick last spring but new cases of salmonella poisoning are being reported leaving health officials to believe the outbreak is ongoing. Attention pet lovers next time you feed your furry friends consider this. "This is the first time we have seen a human outbreak of disease caused by dried pet food," said Dr. Stephen Ostroff of the Pennsylvania Health Department.

Last spring sixty-two people in eighteen states were infected with salmonella. Health officials say they got sick after handling dog food.

"It's surprising I didn't think about it," said Erin Williams of Center City.

Erin Williams is what you might call a pet expert. As a dog walker she walks and feeds as many as eight pooches a day. "It doesn't really occur to you that dried dog food could be dangerous and you should wash your hands," added Williams.

But health officials that's exactly what you need to do to avoid getting sick. The dog food that caused the human salmonella outbreak was manufactured at a Pennsylvania plant for Mars Pet Care.

It was sold under the brand names Krasdale and Red Flannel.

Mars pet care recalled the food last summer but apparently some of it is still in people's homes. The Center for Disease Control is still receiving reports of new salmonella infections.

The CDC says pet owners should take proper precautions while handling any kind of pet food or treats. "If it falls on the kitchen counter or on the floor wipe it up," said Dr. Ostroff.

And again, wash your hands its best to do so with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.

"You should not keep your pets foods in the kitchen or feed your pet in the kitchen because that increases the likelihood it could get into other things," added Dr. Ostroff.

These tips are especially important if you have young children. Most of the victims in the salmonella outbreak were younger than 1 year old.

Link to recall

Salmonella Symptoms