Dog Goods USA LLC of Tobyhanna, PA joins the list of companies involved in a federal and state investigation regarding contaminated pig ear dog treats that are likely responsible for a multistate, multidrug-resistant Salmonella outbreak. 

Dog Goods USA LLC has recalled its Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, according to a notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the FDA and several state agencies on the outbreak investigation.

According to the recall notice, the affected product includes non-irradiated bulk and packaged pig ears branded Chef Toby Pig Ears, due to potential Salmonella contamination. The Product lot codes are:

428590, 278989, 087148, 224208, 1168723, 428590, 222999,
074599, 1124053, 226884, 578867, 224897, 1234750, 444525,
1106709, 215812, 230273, 224970, 585246, 327901, 052248,
210393, 217664, 331199, 225399, 867680, 050273, 881224,
424223, 225979, 431724, 226340, 880207, and 334498.

The recall notice said that Dog Goods bought the affected products from a single supplier in Brazil from September 2018 through August 2019, and distributed the products nationwide in retail stores. The recall was initiated after the FDA sampled pig ears manufactured by the firm’s supplier in Brazil and one sample tested positive for Salmonella.

According to the recall notice, “Dog Goods has also launched an internal investigation to determine if, when and where the Products may have been contaminated. To date, this internal investigation has not indicated any vulnerability in the company’s practices, including but not limited to the inspection, handling, and storage of the Products.”

No illnesses have been linked to the Products to date; “Nonetheless, Dog Goods will continue to investigate the matter, collaborate fully with the FDA and the CDC, and provide further information to its customers and the public as appropriate.”

Salmonella can affect animals eating the pig ears, and there is a further risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products. Any surfaces or utensils such as feeding bowls exposed to these products could be contaminated and should be cleaned and sanitized.

Individuals infected with Salmonella should monitor for some, or all, of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Anyone exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

About the investigation
To date, a total of 127 people from 33 states have been confirmed infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella; 26 of those people have been reported hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Consumers can read more about the progression of the multistate outbreak here, and follow updates from the CDC’s current investigation here.

Recalled pig ear treats should be thrown into a secure container, so pets and other animals do not eat them. Even if a dog ate some of the recalled pig ears did not get sick, do not continue to feed them to your dog. Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held the recalled pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water.

A common supplier of pig ear treats in this outbreak has not been identified.

The pig-related outbreak shows animals can spread the bacteria to humans. Here’s what humans should know about Salmonella, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

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