CDC, FDA Tell Dog Owners to Throw Out All Pig Ear Treats After Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 127 People

A pile of pig ear dog treats is seen in a file photo. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

A pile of pig ear dog treats is seen in a file photo. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Federal agencies are advising pet owners to throw out all pig ear dog  treats amid an investigation into a multistate outbreak of salmonella that has sickened dozens of people across the nation.

The warning was issued Wednesday in a coordinated effort between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consumers are urged not to purchase pig ear treats or feed them to their dogs; retailers are being told not to sell them anymore.

The advisory comes after multiple products tested positive for salmonella and were linked to human illnesses, according to federal officials.

A total of 127 people have been sickened across 33 states since the current outbreak began in June of 2015, according to CDC. The vast majority of the cases were reported after last October, however, with 34 illnesses since July 17.

The outbreak resulted in 26 people being hospitalized and sickened 24 children younger than 5 years old. No deaths have been linked to the pig ear treats.

Only one case has been reported in California thus far.

Two recalls have been issued.

One distributor, New Jersey-based Lennox Intl Inc, expanded a voluntary recall on Tuesday of its natural pig ears due to potential salmonella contamination.

Another company, Pet Supplies Plus, issued a bulk recall of pig ear products on July 3 after a product sold in one of its stores tested positive for salmonella.

However, state and federal health officials have yet to identify a single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats as the culprit of all the illnesses. Because of that, they’re advising against the treats being purchased or sold.

All pig ear treats should be thrown away, ideally in a secure container so animals cannot access them, according to health officials. Anyone who comes into contact with a pig ear treat should wash their hands thoroughly.

While dogs can get sick from eating them, people can fall ill by simply handling them or caring for a dog who consumed one, the agencies said.

Neither the FDA nor the CDC provided any data about dog illnesses from the treats.

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