Dog owners should wash their hands after giving pets certain chew treats, particularly those made of pig ears. The government warns the popular pet goodies may be contaminated with Salmonella.
At least 30 people in Canada have been infected with Salmonella which Canadian health officials have traced back to dog chews made from pork- or beef-derived materials including pig ears, beef jerky and pigskin.
Salmonella is not considered a risk for the dogs, but people can become infected easily if they touch something that carries the bacterium and then touch their mouths or their own food.
In healthy people, Salmonella causes flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but it can cause life-threatening illness in people with weak immune systems.
No Americans are known to be sick, but there is no way to know if the contaminated dog chews have already been imported. So, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is urging American pet owners to handle dog chews very carefully.
Anyone who touches one should wash their hands with hot water and soap and watch children to ensure they do not put the pet treat into their mouths.
The elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from and should avoid any contact with these treats, health officials say.
The FDA says it will detain imports of pig ears to test for salmonella, and will examine U.S. manufacturing of dog chews.
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