Pig ear dog treats are making people sick — CDC

CDC map of reported illnesses as of July 3

CDC map of reported illnesses as of July 3

If you give your beloved pup pig ear dog treats, you could be putting you and the rest of your human family members at risk for salmonella infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

The CDC and FDA are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.

Bulk pig ears were distributed to Pet Supplies Plus stores in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Twelve of the sick people were hospitalized.

So far, 45 people in 13 states have been diagnosed with the salmonella-related illness although none of these cases are confirmed to be a result of the pig ears.

A dozen of those sickened had to be hospitalized, officials said.

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In June, the CDC released a similar warning after a salmonella outbreak linked to chickens and other backyard poultry infected more than 200 people.

"Epidemiologic evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak", the agency stated. The CDC is telling the public to exercise common sense and precautions around their dogs and treats, including washing hands with soap and water after handling any food and treats, storing these items away from human food, and using a clean item to scoop food.

A probe uncovered a link between the sicknesses and dog treats, finding that 34 people reported contact with a dog before getting sick and 17 people reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed such treats. "Retail locations where sampling occurred have removed pig ears from shelves".

Also, don't let your dog lick your mouth or face just after eating, and wash your skin if your dog does lick you after eating.

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