FDA Advises Consumers Not to Purchase or Feed, and Retailers Not to Sell, Any Pig Ear Pet treats

PRESS RELEASE NO.: 2019-089 

FDA Advises Consumers Not to Purchase or Feed, and Retailers Not to Sell, Any Pig Ear Pet treats

 The Department of Public Health and Social Services, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), would like to inform the public that the FDA and CDC are advising consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and further recommending retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time because of a link between the pig ear pet treats and Salmonella infections that have resulted in 127 confirmed cases in humans.  Illnesses have been reported in 33 states, including California, Hawaii, and Washington.  There have been 26 hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.

Two companies, Lennox Intl. Inc. and Pet Supplies Plus have both issued recalls for their products associated with the outbreak.  The recall for Lennox Intl. Inc. can be found at this link:

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/expanded-lennox-intl-inc-voluntary-recalling-natural-pig-ears-july-26-2019

The recall for Pet Supplies Plus can be found at this link:

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/pet-supplies-plus-issues-consumer-advisory-bulk-pig-ear-product-fda-investigating-contaminated-pig

Although the pig ear pet treats which are potentially contaminated with Salmonella are intended solely for the consumption of dogs, there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the contaminated product or any surfaces exposed to the contaminated product.  In general, if you choose to feed treats like pig ears to your animals, practice food hygiene by:  monitoring your pet while they have the treat, picking up the treat when they are done with it, keeping treats away from small children, cleaning areas the treat came into contact with, washing hands, and not allowing your pet to lick you, your family members, or surfaces in your home.

If you currently have any pig ear pet treat products, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.  Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with potentially contaminated products.

In healthy adults, symptoms of Salmonella infections may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.  Consumers who develop any of these symptoms after coming in contact with pig ear pet treats should consult their health care providers.

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

The Division of Environmental Health is currently conducting a recall effectiveness check with local pet feed stores, veterinary clinics, retail stores, wholesalers, and distributors to determine if the affected product is being sold or distributed on island.  Currently, there has been no determination that the affected products are available on island.

The Department has not received any local report of injuries or illnesses associated with the consumption of these recalled commodities.  Consumers with questions may contact the FDA at 888-463-6332.

For any questions, please contact the Consumer Commodities Program at the Division of Environmental Health at 735-7221.

LINDA UNPINGCO DENORCEY, MPH

Director

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