Human Salmonella illnesses linked to raw pet food; Woody’s launches recall


This story by Phyllis Entis first appeared in Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission

Woody’s Pet Food Deli is recalling three date codes of raw turkey pet food found by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to be contaminated with Salmonella. The agriculture department initiated testing after the Minnesota Department of Health identified a human case of Salmonella Reading linked to the pet food.

Public health officials discovered during their investigation that Woody’s Pet Deli raw turkey pet food was fed regularly to a pet in the household of the infected individual. The pet tested positive for a different strain of Salmonella.

Woody’s is a small Minnesota-based chain of pet food shops, with locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Woodbury.

The recalled product was sold in 5-pound plastic containers, identified as “Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey,” and bearing one of the following Use By dates: 01/10/20, 01/12/20, 01/15/20.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an ongoing multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products from multiple sources. The outbreak has been in progress since November 2017. As of Dec. 18, 2018, there had been 216 cases of Salmonella Reading illnesses reported in 38 states. One person has died and 84 have been hospitalized. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has been tracking 33 Salmonella illnesses in six provinces. Those patients are linked to raw turkey and raw chicken products. The same outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been recovered from both Canadian and U.S. patients.

No single source or supplier in either the United States or Canada of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.

In November 2018 and again in December 2018, Jennie-O-Turkey Store Sales in Wisconsin and Minnesota respectively recalled nearly 128 tons of raw ground turkey products that were associated with the Salmonella Reading outbreak.

This is the second pet food recall linked to the Salmonella Reading outbreak. In February 2018, Raws for Paws recalled about 4,000 pounds of ground turkey pet food after two children were infected with Salmonella Reading. The outbreak strain was recovered from samples of the Raws for Paws food fed to pets in the household where the children lived. One of the two children was hospitalized with osteomyelitis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection in people usually include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Infected pets may experience diarrhea, fever and vomiting, or may be without symptoms. Even asymptomatic pets may shed Salmonella in their feces, spreading the infection in the environment.

Individuals who have purchased the recalled Woody’s product should throw it out or return it for a full refund. Consumers with questions should telephone their Woody’s store or contact the company by email at info@woodyspetdeli.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.