Friday, August 31, 2007

Why hasn't Bestro's Chicken Jerky been recalled?

This post intentionally left blank because I have no answer.

FDA - do you?

Wal-Mart - do you?

Why are other stores still selling Bestro's? K-mart? Got an answer?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Many Online Reports of Non-Recalled Dog Treats Suspected of Causing Illness/Deaths

8-30: Another dog died, believed due to chicken jerky. See #7 under Kingdom Pets below. I've again changed the date on this post.

8-29: This was originally posted last Tuesday, 8-21. I've changed the date of the post so it shows up at the top of the blog - because none of these treats have yet been recalled! I also changed the formatting to make it easier to read. It will also be easier to add new reports, since people are posting new ones daily.

If you haven't already, see these three posts for information on dog treats (Chicken Jerky Strips) that Wal-mart has pulled from the shelves but has not yet recalled.
First story 8/16 (Wal-Mart quietly pulls one dog treat)
Second story 8/21 (Wal-Mart actually pulled two dog treats 27 days ago)
Third story 8/21 (Wal-Mart announces melamine in dog treats)
Fourth Story - oh wait, there isn't one. Why the hell not????!!! Where'd the media go? Where'd the FDA go? Where'd Wal-Mart go??? been a full week 9 days - and nothing has happened. Unbelievable.

News Articles of Dog Treats causing illness/deaths (brief excerpt below links)


Jodi Zeremski said her Chihuahua, Taco, never had health problems until she bought chicken jerky dog treats from Wal-Mart in early July.

Soon after eating the treats, Taco reportedly became ill and had to be put down.


Vicki Stone of Cobb never knew that the dollars she hoped to save by purchasing her dog's favorite treat, Chicken Jerky Strips, at Wal-Mart in Clearlake could cost her favorite pet his life. "He's such a picky eater, but he loved the strips, he'd gulp them down," said Stone.

In July, Stone's husband saw a deal on chicken strips at Wal-Mart, so he picked up two packages. A week and a half later, their five-year old Shihtzu named Doc started having problems. They did everything possible, according to veterinarian Dr. Chris Holmes, but still the dog went into kidney failure and may not survive. If he does, his kidneys will only function at about 20 percent, and Doc will likely not live another two years.


When Kate Collins took her Chihuahua, Bella, with her on vacation, she thought she was saving her youngest dog from the experience of boarding.

Two-year-old Bella was dead one week later.


CUYAHOGA FALLS -- A Cuyahoga Falls woman says Wal-Mart should have pulled the Bestro Chicken Jerky Treats earlier than July 26th.

She directly blames the treats for her Yorkie's death.
While the local animal hospital can not confirm the treats triggered the dog's sudden kidney failure, her receipt clearly shows she purchased the now pulled tainted doggie treats

Online Reports of Non-Recalled Dog Treats Suspected of Causing Illness/Deaths

What follows are just a few of the comments that other people have posted on various websites, forums and blogs. I am providing links to them so you can check them out for yourself. In most cases I have posted a portion of the comment and you can click the link to read the rest. I've included links from different sites - there are multiple reports on each site, so if you follow one link you can see other similar experiences.

Note that I've left the Quote Marks off to make it easier to read. Everything under a link is from the original poster. Where there is a '...' it means I've edited some of the post. Again, click the links to see the full post.

Disclaimer: These are reports by people like yourself who posted online (or emailed me) that they believe a certain food made their pets sick. This information is simply for you to use as part of making an educated decision about what you feed your pet. None of these foods have been officially recalled (though Wal-Mart has 'quiety recalled' the Bestro's). These foods/treats may or may not be the cause of the illness/deaths you see reported here.

If your dog got sick from any of these treats, please report it to the company, the store you bought it from, and the FDA! Here's the link to find your FDA Complaint Coordinator.

If you want your experience listed here email me at pft @

Bestro's Chicken Jerky Strips/Treats(pulled by Wal-Mart but not recalled or announced)
[Posted 8-21, added here 8-28]On Auguest 14th, My dog Sugar was only a 5yrs old Yorkie and she eat the chichen strips to and died of kidney failure also plus am infection not know to the vet. It was so hard to see her vomiting and her poop was also green and yellow and then to blood. She lived only a week after I took her to the vet, They try everything to help her but we ended up putting her to sleep. I did call Wal Mart and I was told they will put me on a list and that was it. But I am not going to let it sit. I have the receipt that show I purchased the deadly chicken stripes. Sugar is a part of family. She didn’t ask for this!!!! Can any one HELP. Wal Mart needs to step up and take the plame.

[Posted 8-21, added here 8-28]My dog Annie loved the stupid strips. She ate 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening most times. We skipped them sometimes and I guess that was waht kept her alive longer. She had kidney failure. Panted heavy and got weak. I thought it was her age. She was 9 1/2. She vomited sometimes but she would go out and eat grass. Then she started going in the house. Her poop was runny and almost green. All this in about 2 weeks. She weighed 115 lbs so was hard to get her to a vet. They came to the house and all they could do was put her to sleep. My sisters dog ate them when I would take them over and also vomited but didn’t realize what it was. Thank goodness he is ok now.

[Posted 8-25, Added here 8-28]Our pet Rosie, a 3 year old Chihuahua was poisoned from Chinese made Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips #77849 00006 1 We have this contaminated bag. We have three
Chihuahuas and one of them died one month ago. She started with vomiting and dehydration and then we were told she may either have an obstruction or have been poisioned. Since our dogs are inside dogs and we are with them at all times outside we thought it was an obstruction. Finally the doctor said he was almost positive it was some kind of poisoning at Elwood Animal Clinic in Glendora, California. They were going to scope her but before that could happen she died July 21, at VCA in Fountain Valley, California. We gave our dogs Waggin train and Bestro’s Jerky Chicken Strips. Our Sweet Rosie (our chihuahua that passed) loved them and and she would eat all the treats we put down for the other dogs too. Up until today we never had any idea what happened but now with Wal Mart (I bought the treats there and at Sam’s) pulling this quietly from their selves. I truly believe that is why she died. We called Wal Mart and are getting a run around.

[Posted 8-21] We had to put our 4 year old Lady down because of Kidney failure a month ago. She had no access to antifreeze. The vet and I were at a loss to explain it because she didn't eat any of the recalled food. UNTIL TODAY!! She loved those Chicken Strips and ate them every day. I call our vet and asked if this could have cause her death and he said YES! I can't tell you how upset and mad I am right now. This little girl we got from the shelter and she cowered because she had been so abused. She was my joy.

[Posted 8-20] my neighbors two dogs just became criticall ill and the only thing new in their diet is bestro chicken jerky strips obtained at i think kmart. they both went into kidney failure and the vet said its definitly some toxic poisening. ...
these dogs just came home afer a week of IV's and they are still not out of the woods yet!

[Posted 8-14] My puppy died last week and we just found out it was Bestro's Chicken Jerky Strips, which we recently purchased and was pulled as a recall from our local Penna. Walmart. (we from phila. area). She too died of toxic renal failure.

[Posted 3-4] Maggie is sick from BESTROS CHICKEN JERKY STRIPS!!!!!!!!!
My dog has gotten very ill from these chicken strips. I bought them and only gave my dog 1 and 1/2 strips before I found out that they had made some dogs ill, and threw the rest of the bag away. She got sick the same night that she ate the treats, and is getting worse by the hour. She is throwing up anything that she tries to eat, and she has diarrhea. ...

[Posted 8-21] $4,000+ in Vet Bills from Chicken Jerky Strips
Hi, this morning my husband sent me a news release on Yahoo news that Wal-mart quietly removed the Chicken Jerky and Chicken Jerky Strips from their shelves at the end of July. I am outraged that Wal-mart has continued to sell these "treats" even after they knew there was something wrong with them. I started giving them to my dog in September 2006.
She became ill in October, I thought she just had a bug because it went away. A week before Thanksgiving she stopped eating and by Thanksgiving weekend she was in the hospital and had to have surgery. Her stomach and esophogus was filled with ulcers and her intestines were inflamed. The doctors called in Inflammatory Bowel Disease but she hasn't had any inflammation since that time and she hasn't had any Chicken Jerky Strips either. We had to give her injections for about 2 weeks after she came home from the emergency room and all told we have spent over $4,000 on treatment. ...

[Posted 8-11] Our 2 1/2 year old cavalier is in the hospital right now being treated for kidney failure and will be there until at least Monday. Her test results on
8/9/07 were 97 for her blood, urea and nitrogen levels and her creatine level was 2.4. Today (8/11/07)her results are 37 blood, urea and nitrogen but the creatine is still 2.4. She had blood work done at the end of March and all her levels were fine. The only change in her diet is that we gave her 1 1/2 bags of Bestros Chicken Strips over the course of three weeks that were purchased at Walmart. Since then she has stopped eating, lost 3 pounds and has become lethargic. She was always very energentic and had a great appetite

[Posted 8-22] RE: Bestro's Chicken Strips I need to know. On the dogs that have consumed these chicken strips, have any of them had any leg swelling? My best friend, my pit bull Reelia, has had these "treats" for about 2 months now. 1 month ago one of her hind legs started swelling for no reason. Then a week later the second hind leg. Then a week later one of her front legs. The Vet didn't know exactly what was wrong. After several hundred dollars of treatments, we had no choice but to put down our beloved dog so she wouldn't suffer anymore. She wasn't breathing right and she was becoming paralized. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? It just isn't fair. She had several more years that we could have enjoyed her company. Now all we have is a memory.

Waggin Train Chicken Jerky Tenders and/or Treats
1.[emailed 8-26, added here 8-28] I write this with so much guilt and a heavy heart. I just want other pet owners to hear our story so they can be on alert.

In the last eight months, our family lost our three dogs, a mother (age 12 at the time of death) and her two "puppies" (age 10 & 11 at their times of death). The first dog to pass away in November 2006 was Bear, at the age of 10. He had lost weight, was lethargic, and after several trips to the vet trying to stop dehydration and what was apparently internal bleeding, he passed away. Our wonderful vet opined that he more than likely had a tumor which was the cause of death. In the end, he would only eat hand-fed boiled chicken, rice and his Waggin' Train dog treats.

Then came all the warnings about the tainted dog food in Spring 2007, and we were very diligent about what our two remaining dogs ate. Then in April, the mother, Chilly, began exhibiting the same symptoms as Bear. She died not too long after and our last surviving dog, Screamer, died on July 10th. We did not have autopsies performed on any of our dogs, chalking up their deaths to heredity, old age and loneliness. We remain devastated to have lost them all in such a short period of time, but we were convinced at the time that they were a pack all their lives and the loss of one was unbearable for the others.

Then, on 8/22, my husband saw the report on CNN about Bestro treats, which we never purchased. After getting online and seeing other complaints, both he and I are absolutely convinced that the Waggin' Train treats killed our dogs. The dogs started eating them approx. last summer and prior to that our dogs were all relatively healthy, save one tumor removal from Chilly's leg in 2006 and one tumor removal from Screamer's ear in 2007.

Thank you for posting all of this information here. I will be making a complaint to the FDA, ADI and Wal-mart and my husband and I have vowed to never shop at Wal-mart again. I can only hope that other pet owners don't have to suffer what we've endured, burying three members of our family in less than a year.

[Posted 8-21, added here 8-28] My maltese has had intermittent periods of horrible bloody diarrhea and vomiting for the past 6 weeks. The vet checked her for worms which of course was negative. She put her on 2 different medications (one being an antibiotic) and told me to stop all treats and slowly introduce them back one by one.
Gracie had been getting the waggin train brand of chicken jerky tenders-probably up to 4 or more a day. Her symptoms did stop. I pray no damage has been done

[Posted 8-21, added here 8-28] My baby passed this last Friday, the only treats she has ever eaten was the Waggin Trail Chicken Jerky Tenders, all her life she was happy and healthy, and in a matter of less than two weeks with several trips to the vet she could not be saved.
Imagine my horror to see that these all natural chicken treats she loved so much came from
China, Please stop feeding your pets these treats, as I have not been able to stop crying over the loss of my toy Shih Tzu. I would hate for someone else to suffer the pain of feeling resposible for their loved ones death.

[Posted 8-8] RE: waggin Train chicken treats from ADI Pet
My dogs are bleeding from eating this product. I hope we have caught it in time. Wal Mart says it may take days to get it off the shelf because they need corporate approval. Adi Pet says in no uncertain terms that they intend to sell this brand of chicken jerky treats. I am appalled.

[Posted 5-17] RE: waggintrain jerky tenders
I just got in from Vet. I have "Had " (2) 1 year old Female healthy german sheps. They got a hold of a whole bag of Wagon Train Jerky Tenders chicken flavor. This was Tuesday afternoon may 15th in the afternoon. I found several mounds of vomited food from the treats on may 16th at 630am, both girls were weak and slow. Thinking they had an upset stomache from eating to much I watched them. This morning may 17th at
9am I found one of my girls dead adn the other still clinging to life. i rushed her to Vet and they discovered the live girl had full blown kidney failure. There was no sign of anitfreeze poisioning in my yard. These girls are the only 2 dogs out of my 3 shepards that ate the treats. My male is 2 yrs old and doing good. Im trying to contact ADI foods to alert them, but no luck. ...

[Posted 4-3] waggintrain jerky tenders
I have four Brussels Griffons and have been feeding the waggon train jerky treats to them for a couple of years. They absolutely love these treats. Several months ago, I began to have problems with all the dogs having diarrhea, sometimes together, sometimes only the younger dogs. I took them to the vet and they were put on antibiotics which cleared up the diarrhea. Last night, I gave them one small piece of chicken jerky and one of the younger dogs woke me up at 3:00 am crying like he needed to go out. Sure enough, diarrhea had set in. Going to the vet this am to have them cultured for salmonella. ...

[Posted 8-22, Added here 8-22, pulled up from comments] We have been feeding Waggin' Train brand chicken jerky strips from COSTCO to our two white toy poodles Barbie and Bailey.
Well that explains it, the health problems off and on over the years after feeding them these strips. The dogs would on occasion get sick, cry to go out, be anxious, want to eat grass after feeding this product. And we would only feed them one per day - thank god only a few times a week but still! In the past they have had bloody stools, diarrhea, vomiting and the Vets could not figure it out.
I looked on the package and its made in
China. It says "Sterilized by Irradiation for Freshness & Health" ...

[Posted 8-21] I can only say that I recently bought a bag of Waggin Trails Brand Chicken Jerky Tender from Wal-Mart made in
China. The second day after opeining the 32 oz. bag I gave Jacob, my minature dachsund, a treat. He got two of them, one each day. That very evening he had what I can only describe as a "Grand Mall" seizure. He lost control of his bladder and could not walk, besides his constant shaking for half an hour. These treats were from Lot # 94667. He has never had a seizure before and as you can imagine, he was absolutely terrified. He is only three years old. I am going to return the remaining product to Wal-Mart and let them know what happened....

[posted 8-28, added here 8-29] My summary: Bought moldy Waggin Train Chicken Jerky Tenders (includes pictures!), and the company’s (form letter) response to being told about their moldy product. I just found out about all this after I started Googling for other articles about issues with Waggin Train brand and as a result of my attempt to contact them via e-mail.
I took photos of the package I returned to Wal-Mart yesterday (only thing I ever buy from Wal-Mart) and what was inside. You be the judge. I think all these treats should be recalled. I think Adi Pet is in defense mode and not owning up to issue. If their product is so squeaky clean then what I purchased should have never been on the shelf.

I called Sams headquarters today and they were insistant that the Waggin Train was fine. I mentioned this site and the amount of complaints related to this treat and the person again insisted that there were NO PROBLEMS with the treats. I would urge all of you to call Sam's headquarters and register a complaint. Maybe they'll finally pull this stuff from the shelves.

By the way, I brought my dog home today and so far, no more seizures in a 48 hour period.

Target brand Chicken Jerky Treats
[Posted 8-21] Hello All... these August dates of reported pet deaths due to chicken jerky strips are significant. I lost my 2-years old, long haired chihuahua, Gomez, August 17th. The brand? Pet Essentials from Target. The product name is uncannily the same as the Wal-Mart brand: Chicken Jerky Strips. ... PS...
I left details with the local FDA here in NYC. Apparently the Consumer Complaint Desk can only handle voice mail messages and not conversations. Regardless, since I have not been able to get through to Target, and find the managers at the
Brooklyn location 'powerless' and clueless, I've turned to the FDA in the meantime. I am open to further suggestions.

Costco brand Chicken Jerky Treats (Kingdom Pet)
[Posted 8-24, added here 8-28] 6 weeks ago I started feeding my very healthy 2 yr. old little beagle Kingdom chicken jerky purchased at Costco. For the past 3 weeks we and the vet have tried to figure out why he is now ill. Elevated liver enzymes and white count. After reading about the WalMart treats I checked the bag and see that it also is made in
China. The vet said that now makes sense to his symptoms, it’s poison going in to him. Nothing else made sense as he has always been healthy until we made that mistake in buying these treats.
We are just waiting to see what the outcome is going to be, and sadly I think I know what it will be. He is not eating or drinking and just lays around with no energy.

[Posted 8-25, added here 8-28] I purchased a bag of Kingdom chicken jerky strips for my chocolate labrador. Within an hour, she was throwing up the entire contents of her stomach. I e-mailed Costco and they wrote with a generic e-mail stating that I could get a return on my money. When I returned the jerky, they said that at present there were no recalls for their chicken strips. I just wanted to give them a heads up on what happened to my dog.

[Posted 8-22, added here 8-28]This is really interesting reading these comments. We started feeding our dog Kingdom's Pets original chicken jerky 2 months ago. 3 weeks ago he started getting sick, throwing up, diarrea, not eating. The DR sees high liver enzymes and high white count but can't figure what the problem is. This sounds like the problem. I agree I won't toss the treats, just keep them for proof, but my DR will be notified immediately.

[Posted 8-21] This latest recall on the Jerky treats is setting off alarm bells for me.
We purchased some similar treats from Costco about 3 months ago. Not long after my dog, Panda, had a seizure. (We threw the treats out after I noticed they were made in
China) (any word from Costco about those?)
Blood tests revealed that his liver enzymes were high and there was a lot of bacteria in his blood.. Antibiotics have brought the numbers down some, but he will be having a liver biopsy next week to get a better idea of what is happening. ...

[Posted 8-20] I've been feeding my dog the chicken jerky and duck jerky from Costco and Sams club for the past couple of years with no problem. However recently she has become ill and the vet bills just keep coming. Today as a matter of fact she is at the vet's office getting test ran.
She has had vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. I've had a healthy happy dog for the past 7 years and other than the normal check ups nothing major was wrong with her. I know it's from those treats. I will not feed my dog anymore of them.
After reading some of the posts I checked the bag and sure enough it says it is a product of
China and not for Human Consumption. Even if you dogs have not shown signs of sickness yet I still would not feed them anymore of those treats.
Just a follow up on this posting. My dog passed away a day after I posted this. She had cancer of the pancreas, spleen, and liver. ...

[Posted 8-22, added here 8-22] ...We gave our weimaraner Kingdom Pets chicken jerky from Costco and she became ill with vomiting and dry heaves and had diarrhea for 5 days. We talked that the chicken jerky was the only difference in food that she had been given. I tried to email the site on the bag of chicken jerky in LA, but it wouldn’t come up, so I tried the phone # and their message box was full. Something is going on with this
China made treat and I will be taking this bag back to Costco. Luckily this time, our girl seems to have recovered.

7. [via email on 8-29, added 8-30] I had to put my 4 year old Shih Tsu down today, because of total liver shut down. The item that made her sick was Chicken Jerky, from China. The brand is Kingdom Pets Original Chicken Jerky. It is sold through Costco stores. My neighbor's dog also got sick from these treats. She didn't have as many, so she is ok, now. I am going to get ahold of the FDA and Costco's main office.

Beefeaters Tasty Chicken Strips
[Posted 8-22, added here 8-28] I just called the FDA to complain about Beefeaters Tasty Strips which are chicken strips manufactured in China that I bought at BJ's. My dog developed severe diarreah from it. I answered a lot of questions and had the complaint submitted for investigation. I encourage everyone who has experienced the same problem to do the same. Apparently, this is the only way to make everyone aware of the potential health problems these products can cause in our pets. Don't put it off!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Salmonella found in Mars Petcare plant goes back to 2006

Updated 8-29 (see end of post)
Last week Mars PetCare recalled a tiny amount of dog food. See this post for details.

Now salmonella has been found in that manufacturing plant, and they believe it is responsible for 18 months of salmonella outbreaks in the area and in the country.

So... if I'm reading this right, the plant was contaminated with salmonella for 18 months??? What about all the dog food made during that time? The only other food recalled was by Doane Pet Care back in early June - Ol'Roy Dry Dog Food, and that was only ONE LOT. (FDA recall notice HERE)

When is the rest of it going to be recalled?!
A salmonellosis outbreak that moved slowly through Pennsylvania and the country for 18 months only recently was connected to a Fayette County dog food plant, public health officials said Monday.

Pennsylvanians have been hardest hit, with 25 of the illnesses -- or 38 percent of the 66 cases reported nationwide -- occurring here, according to the state Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Pittsburgh infant was among the victims.

For every reported case, the CDC estimates 30 or more illnesses go unreported.

The Mars Petcare U.S. manufacturing plant in Everson that made the two suspected dog foods linked to the outbreak is closed for inspection and cleaning, the Nashville-based company said in a news release yesterday.

The company last Tuesday recalled its 5-pound bags of Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food, and on Friday 50-pound bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the same subtype of Salmonella Schwarzengrund linked to the outbreak, according to the company and FDA. Salmonella bacteria causes salmonellosis.

Mars Petcare officials declined to answer questions about the recall. In a statement, the company said "it is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and it sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement."

People in 18 states, including Ohio and New York, have been infected, said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell. However, the Krasdale dog food was sold only in Pennsylvania and four other states, and the Red Flannel was sold only in Pennsylvania, according to the company.

More than half of the cases in Pennsylvania were in children younger than 3, said state Department of Health spokeswoman Claudine Battisti. The first person sickened in Pennsylvania with salmonellosis genetically linked to this outbreak was Jan. 13, 2006, and the most recent was Aug. 1, she said. No deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

"The cases were occurring very sporadically (less than one per month), so it wasn't apparent to us that there was a problem until we noticed a somewhat larger number of them in May and June," Battisti said in an e-mail. "That prompted us to review what information was available to us on these cases, and we noticed a number of them mentioned dogs in the home (more than we would expect). That's what got the investigation started in late June."

The only person in Allegheny County linked to the outbreak was a then-5-month-old Pittsburgh girl, who was hospitalized after becoming ill in June 2006, said Allegheny County Health Department spokesman Dave Zazac. The girl recovered, he said.

Her family did not have a dog, and it is believed that she did not come into contact with any, Zazac said.

No pet illnesses or deaths have been reported in this outbreak, said FDA spokesman Mike Herndon.

The CDC reported in May a growing number of multi-drug-resistant foodborne cases of Salmonella Schwarzengrund worldwide. The increase in the United States is linked to imported chicken, particularly products from Thailand, according to the report.

In June, potential salmonella contamination caused Mars Petcare to recall 55-pound bonus bags of Ol'Roy Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food, which is sold by Wal-Mart. That food was made by Doane Pet Care Co. in Manassas, Va., according to the FDA.

More info from
Emphasis in red is mine.

PITTSBURGH -- A western Pennsylvania dog food plant has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that crept across the country for 18 months, public health officials said.

The dog food was made by Nashville-based Mars Petcare US Inc. at its plant in Everson, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.

Last week, the company recalled 5-pound bags of Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food and 50-pound bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the same subtype of salmonella linked to the outbreak, according to the company and FDA.

Sixty-six people in 18 states have been infected since early 2006, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania health officials. No one has died, nor have any pet illnesses or deaths been reported, officials said.

Mars Petcare officials declined to answer questions about the recall, but said in a statement that it initiated the recall "out of an abundance of caution." The plant, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, was closed for inspection and cleaning, the company said in a news release Monday.

The FDA says salmonella can be transferred to humans who handle contaminated pet food. It advises people to wash thoroughly after handling pet food.

Pets with an infection could be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Even healthy animals with the infection can pass it to other animals or humans, who could have the same symptoms.

There were 25 salmonella cases in Pennsylvania linked to the pet food. More than half were in children younger than 3, said state Department of Health spokeswoman Claudine Battisti. The first person sickened in Pennsylvania was on Jan. 13, 2006, and the most recent was Aug. 1, she said.

Because the infections were occurring sporadically, the department didn't notice a problem until two to three months ago, when more cases were noticed, she said. The department then began investigating.

The CDC says the scope of salmonella outbreaks are likely far larger than what's reported. For every reported case, the centers estimate 30 or more are unreported.

Today's head-exploding update from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Locally produced brands of cat and dog food are linked to an ongoing salmonellosis outbreak, federal and state officials said Tuesday. Most people sickened nationwide had contact with dry cat and dog foods produced at the Mars Petcare U.S. plant in Everson, but not with the two dog foods recalled last week. The suspect brands have not been identified.

Translation: The food Mars recalled last week isn't the food that made people sick. That food is still out there.

"This is not information that is consistent with our information," said Mars Petcare spokeswoman Alice Nathanson, who declined further comment and refused to say how many brands of pet foods have been produced at the Everson plant.

Helpful, aren't they?

Last week, the company recalled 5-pound bags of Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food and 50-pound bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food.

In the past 18 months, 66 people nationwide -- including 25 in Pennsylvania -- have been sickened by the Salmonella Schwarzengrund bacteria. Scientists connect victims to the food that causes illness by genetic testing.

Mars Petcare recalled the two brands after the Food and Drug Administration found the same strain of salmonella in those products.

However, none of the people sickened in Pennsylvania and 17 other states had contact with either of the recalled dog foods, said Ian Williams, head of the outbreak team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, and Claudine Battisti, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

"The question is: Is there broader contamination of the foods here?" Williams said.

Um, yeah. Isn't it obvious? And while you all dither around people are touching it and their kids are touching it and they're feeding it to their pets and everyone is STILL getting sick from it.

The source of the Salmonella Schwarzengrund bacteria -- whether an ingredient or something at the plant -- has not been determined, according to Williams and Daniel McChesney, director of the FDA's Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the Center for Veterinary Medicine.

The FDA, which regulates pet food and conducts investigations to determine which products caused an outbreak, has finished its investigation and is not planning to test ingredients of the suspect pet foods unless the agency gets more information suggesting a potential source, McChesney said.

What? What??!

Pet foods contain some of the same ingredients used in human foods. Some of the people sickened in the outbreak have not come in contact with any pet foods, Williams said.

Asked if pet foods that haven't been recalled could be contaminated, he said, "I'm not allowed to make that supposition."

My head has exploded.

This is the first time human illnesses have been linked to pet food, Williams said. Three outbreaks -- one in the United States and Canada and two just in Canada -- have been linked to pet treats, he said.

The CDC is studying how people become infected from pet food, including where human and pet foods are prepared, hand-washing practices, where pets are fed and whether pets sleep in people's beds, Williams said.

Environmental testing by the Pennsylvania Department of Health found the same unusual strain of salmonella at the plant as the FDA found in lots of two dry dog foods made there, McChesney said.

The FDA previously tested the plant and foods made there and found no salmonella and no problems, he said. The company voluntarily closed the plant for cleaning after salmonella was found there earlier this month, McChesney said, and the FDA will inspect the plant after it reopens.

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...,,,, and have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: