TW Enterprises of Ferndale, Washington today alerted consumers that it is recalling certain dog and cat treats it markets because they may be contaminated with Salmonella Thompson. People handling these treats can become infected with the organism, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with any the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Salmonellosis is an infection that can cause serious infections in small children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people may only suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Long-term complications can include arthritis.
S. enterica_ serotype Thompson, when associated with an animal source, appears to be primarily associated with beef. An example is the report of an outbreak of 52 infections with this organism associated with improperly handled roast beef, published in 1999. Contaminated produce may also be a vehicle for human acquisition, as noted in the posting below linked to lettuce, as well as 76 cases associated with fresh cilantro .
In 2001, the irradiation of pet food (including pet treats) was approved for use in the USA. The posts do not state whether these products were irradiated. Likewise, since the products were salmon-, shrimp-, or beef-based, the mechanism of contamination is not yet clear.
It is interesting that there are no reports of dogs or cats suffering from the infection. [- Mod.JW]
June 21, 2005
Original web page at ProMed Mail