The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials is investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections linked to pet food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods at its production facility in Gaston, South Carolina.
Through interviews by state public health officials, FDA’s review of consumer complaints, and from a comparison of pet products from human exposure, and FDA and state testing, some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have now been linked to human Salmonella infections.
Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began between October 2011 and May 11, 2012. Ill persons range in age from less than one year old to 82 years old and the median age is 46.5 years. Sixty-eight percent of patients are female. Among the 17 patients with available information, 6 (35%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after May 11, 2012 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.
Through interviews by state public health officials, FDA’s review of consumer complaints, and from a comparison of pet products from human exposure, and FDA and state testing, some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pets Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have now been linked to human Salmonella infections. Public health officials used DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to investigate cases of human illness.
FDA, CDC, and state investigations are ongoing in an effort to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at the South Carolina facility may be linked to confirmed human illnesses. FDA will provide updates on the investigation as new information becomes available.
FDA, CDC, and state investigations are ongoing in an effort to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at the South Carolina facility may be linked to confirmed human illnesses.
Diamond Pet Foods has recalled 17 brands of dry dog and cat food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Complete information on the recalled products, including photos, lot numbers, and distribution information on each is located at Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information.
Several other companies with products manufactured at the Gaston, S.C. facility have issued voluntary recalls, since some of their products were produced at the Gaston facility during the time frame of the recalls and have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Those companies include:
Diamond Pet Foods continues to work directly with distributors and retailers where the recalled products are carried to remove them as quickly as possible from the marketplace.
Additional investigational steps include analyzing consumer complaints to determine if they are related to this outbreak and continued state surveillance to determine whether any recall expansion may be required.
FDA will provide updates on the recall and the investigation as new information becomes available.
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, theSalmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
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. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
Anyone can be made ill through Salmonella Infantis infection. Infants, older adults and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. CDC reports that this outbreak strain (Infantis) is rare, and typically only 0 to 3 cases are reported per month to PulseNet.
Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like a replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods at 800-442-0402, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or visit Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information.
A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility also yielded Salmonella Infantis, which led to a recall of that product on April 30, 2012.