FDA Fast Facts: FDA updates regarding investigation into link between pig ear pet treats and human cases of salmonellosis
For Immediate Release: July 31, 2019
Media Inquiries: Peter Cassell, 240-402-6537, firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
October 30, 2019 Update: According to the CDC, this outbreak appears to be over, as the rate of new human illnesses reports has slowed and returned to baseline levels. FDA continues to investigate and work with state partners to monitor the marketplace. FDA advises retailers who wish to introduce pig ear pet treats into the market to take appropriate steps to ensure that their suppliers are controlling for pathogens, and that products are not cross-contaminated after processing. FDA urges firms to remain vigilant about taking measures to control pathogens such as Salmonella, and to conduct regular assessments, including testing, to ensure the effectiveness of their processing and the safety of their products. Consumers who choose to feed pig ears should take caution to practice safe pet food handling. More information can be found in our Animal & Veterinary Outbreaks and Advisories update.
September 4, 2019 Update: FDA and CDC continue to advise consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. On September 3, 2019, Dog Goods USA LLC announced an expanded recall, including all 30-packs of Berkley & Jensen brand pig ears sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores.
August 29, 2019 Update: FDA and CDC continue to advise consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. Updates include new case information and one additional recall.
August 20, 2019 Update: FDA and CDC continue to advise consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. On August 16, 2019, Dog Goods USA LLC recalled non-irradiated bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state agencies to investigate 127 human cases of salmonellosis related to several types of Salmonella with a suspected link to pig ear pet treats, some of which originated from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.
The FDA and CDC are advising consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. In July, Lennox Intl Inc., a distributor of pig ear pet treats, recalled some of the treats involved in this outbreak. - Also in July, Pet Supplies Plus initiated a recall of bulk pig ears after samples tested by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tested positive for Salmonella. On August 16, Dog Goods USA LLC announced a recall of non-irradiated bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears. On September 3, 2019, the firm announced an expanded recall, including all 30-packs of Berkley & Jensen brand pig ears sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores. On October 11, 2019, Hollywood Feed announced on their website a recall of Made in South America Brand bulk pig ear pet treats sold in their retail stores after the firm identified positive samples during a self-initiated audit. To date, FDA does not have sufficient data about the firm’s third-party test results to determine whether or not the Salmonella is connected to the current outbreak or linked to any human illnesses.
On August 22, the FDA updated Import Alert 72-03 to include three firms that presented pig ears for import that then tested positive for Salmonella: Custom Pet S.A.S (Colombia), Suarko SRL (Argentina), and Anabe Industria e Comercio de Proteinas (Brazil). On November 1, 2019, the FDA added Vitapet Comercial, Industrial e Exportadora Ltda (Brazil).
“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. “Multiple products have tested positive for numerous types of Salmonella resulting in three company recalls to date. Given this and the links to human illness, 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. We also continue to advise those who may have come into contact with potentially contaminated products to practice safe hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands and disinfecting any surfaces that have touched pig ear pet treats. The FDA will provide additional updates as our investigation further progresses.”
|Snapshots||By the Numbers (as of 8/30/19)
For the most up-to-date data, see the FDA update related to this outbreak
|Outbreak Investigation Summary
Advice for Consumers
This is an ongoing investigation and the FDA will provide the public with new information as it becomes available. For more information on this investigation:
- FDA Investigates Contaminated Pig Ear Pet Treats Connected to Human Salmonella Infections
- Get the Facts about Salmonella!
- CDC Salmonella
- CDC Investigation Notice: Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Contact with Pig Ear Dog Treats
- MDARD Consumer Advisory: Pig ear pet treats sold in bulk distributed in Michigan potentially contaminated with Salmonella
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.