CDC links contaminated dog food to human salmonella outbreak

Contaminated dog food from manufacturer Diamond Pet Foods has been linked with a Salmonella outbreak that has affected at least 14 people across nine states.

On May 3, 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) connected the human Salmonella illnesses with recalled dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods using the national subtyping network, PulseNet.

While no deaths have been reported, five people were hospitalized with the rare strain of Salmonella Infantis, according to the CDC. The nine states that reported the infections included Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development first detected the Salmonella contamination of dog food during routine retail testing of the pet food in April 2, 2012. The testing revealed the rare strain of Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice dry dog food, which had been collected March 14, 2012.

Public health investigators then interviewed ill people infected by the Salmonella Infantis strain.

"In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill," the CDC reported. "Seven of 10 (70%) ill persons interviewed reported contact with a dog in the week before becoming ill. Of 5 ill persons who could recall the type of dog food with which they had contact, 4 (80%) identified dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods that may have been produced at a single facility in South Carolina."

Ohio public health officials then collected and tested dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods, isolating the Salmonella Infantis strain from an opened bag of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula found in the home of an ill person, as well as an unopened bag of product collected from a retail store. Another sample of Diamond Puppy Formula collected from the South Carolina facility has also revealed Salmonella.

Diamond announced April 8, 2012 that it was suspending delivery of all products manufactured at its plant in Gaston, South Carolina after issuing a voluntary recall of its Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice dog food on April 6, 2012.

The April 6, 2012 recall affected certain batches of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice dry dog food, which the company said may have been contaminated with Salmonella from the South Carolina plant.

One bag of the Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light food tested positive for Salmonella, though no canine illnesses were reported.

Diamond announced May 4, 2012 that it was expanding the recall to a total of nine of its dry dog food brands; Diamond says the products recalled on May 4 have not tested positive for Salmonella.

Brands affected by the recall include:

· Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul

· Country Value

· Diamond

· Diamond Naturals

· Premium Edge

· Professional

· 4Health

· Taste of the Wild

· Apex

· Kirkland Signature/Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain

· Canidae

Reports from Diamond Pet Foods indicated that no canines had become ill as a result of the contamination; however, this only reflects that no canine illnesses have been reported to Diamond Pet Foods. State and federal agencies do not track pet illnesses, so it can be difficult to know when animals get sick from pet foods.

Diamond Pet Foods has a website devoted to maintaining updated information about the food recall.
Read more on the Diamond Pet Foods recall from NEWStat and Trends Today:
  • Diamond expands food recall
  • Possible salmonella contamination in dog food recall