Pet Food Salmonella Outbreak Spreads To Canada

Add one resident of Canada’s province of Quebec to the list of 14 US residents who became infected with Salmonella Infantis courtesy of contaminated dry pet food from Diamond Pet Foods.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued a Public Health Notice this evening, with the following statement:

Several people in the United States and one person in Canada have become ill with a Salmonella infection as a result of contact with pets or pet food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. A manufacturer in the United States, Diamond Pet Foods, has recalled several batches of its dry pet food due to possible contamination with Salmonella, including pet food that was shipped to Canada.

The affected pet food was distributed to British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and may have been distributed to other provinces and territories.

The single Canadian case of illness is from Quebec.

The Notice refers consumers to Diamond Pet Foods’ recall notices and information posted by the US FDA. The PHAC notice does not indicate whether the Canadian outbreak victim reported direct contact with one of the recalled pet foods. Nor is there any indication as to which retailers sold the recalled products in Canada.

Here are some things consumers in Canada, the USA and elsewhere can do to protect themselves, their families, and their pets from becoming statistics in this outbreak:

  • Check your supply of pet food to see whether it is affected by the recall. If it is on the recall list, either throw it away or return the unused portion to the retailer.
  • If you have handled one of the recalled products and you develop symptoms of Salmonella (stomach ache, diarrhea, etc), seek immediate medical attention and mention the possible link to pet food.
  • If your dog or cat was fed one of the recalled products and develops symptoms of gastrointestinal illness (vomiting or diarrhea), seek immediate veterinary attention. Ask your veterinarian to test your pet for Salmonella. If the test is positive, you or your veterinarian should contact FDA immediately to have the unused portion of the pet food tested.
  • Review the FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treats, and follow its recommendations to keep your family and your pets safe.
  • Monitor eFoodAlert’s Diamond Pet Foods, Etc. Recalls – 2012 page. It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Above all, be aware that dogs may be infected with Salmonella – and may shed the bacteria in their stool – without showing any outward symptoms of illness. If your pet has consumed a Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food, be especially careful to wash your hands after handling the animal, and supervise closely any interaction between children and your pet.

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