Contact with frozen feeder rodents has been linked to 37 people from 18 states becoming infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, according to an announcement Tuesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC noted that the cases were reported between Jan 11 and May 13, 2014, 15 percent of those sickened had been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of Salmonella infections to contact with frozen feeder rodents packaged by Reptile Industries Inc. of Naples, FL, CDC stated. Reptile Industries packages frozen rodents for PetSmart stores nationwide, which are sold under the brand name Arctic Mice. Feeder rodents may include mice, rats, or other rodents of different sizes and ages. Feeder rodents are used to feed some pet reptiles and amphibians. Testing conducted by the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in one sample of unused frozen mice packaged by Reptile Industries and taken from an ill person’s home in Oregon, CDC stated. Testing conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified the outbreak strain in two frozen feeder rodent samples collected during an FDA investigation at the Reptile Industries facility. “Reptile Industries Inc. has declined to recall all of the suspect product at this time,” FDA stated. On May 20, 2014, FDA issued a warning to pet owners who have purchased frozen rodents packaged by Reptile Industries since Jan. 11, 2014, advising that these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. CDC recommends that pet owners do not use frozen rodents packaged by Reptile Industries purchased since that date. Contact with both live and frozen feeder rodents can be a source of human Salmonella infections. You should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching feeder rodents, whether frozen or live, CDC stated. The agency has posted some related advice to pet owners here. Signs and symptoms of Salmonella infection can be found here.