FDA urges consumers not to use any pig ear treats to pets over salmonella concerns

FILE: A beagle plays on grass while chewing on a treat. The FDA and CDC are urging pet owners not to purchase or feed pig ear treats to theie pets over salmonella concerns. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Food and Drug Administration is urging consumers not to purchase pig ear pet treats or feed them to animals over growing salmonella contamination concerns.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working together with state agencies to investigate 127 human cases of salmonellosis related to multiple types of Salmonella, which they suspect may be linked to pig ear pet treats.

Two companies that distribute pig ear treats have already issued recalls. Lennox Iternational Inc. issued a voluntary recall of its Natural Pig ears, and Pet Supplies Plus issued a recall of bulk pig ears after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found the presence of Salmonella in tested samples.

According to the recall notices, the products were sold across the country, including Minnesota.

The CDC reports that 127 people have been infected from 33 states, and cases date from 2015 to the present. According to the CDC there have been no deaths related to these cases. In Minnesota, only one linked illness has been reported. However, to the south, Iowa has the most reported cases in the nation with 23.

“The FDA takes seriously our responsibility to protect both human and animal health,” said Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “We believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products.”

The FDA and CDC recommend throwing away any pig ear treats that you may have at home and to make sure that they are disposed of in a secure container where other people and animals won’t come into contact with them. They also recommend washing your hands thoroughly after touching pig ear treats and disinfecting any surfaces that may have come into contact with them.