Feds urge consumers to nix pig ear dog treats



Pig ear dog treats are behind a multi-strain outbreak of Salmonella infections that has sickened 127 people in 33 states, according to the latest update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Twenty-four (21%) of the illnesses are in children under the age of five.

Fifty-five (45%) of the victims are female.

Twenty-six (26) of the victims have been admitted to hospital. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 16, 2015 to July 6, 2019. Outbreak victims range in age from less than 1 year to 90 years, with a median age of 40 years.

Illnesses have been reported to CDC from Alabama (1), Arizona (1), California (1), Colorado (3), Connecticut (1), Florida (3), Georgia (2), Hawaii (1), Illinois (7), Indiana (5), Iowa (23), Kansas (3), Kentucky (6), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (12), Minnesota (1), Missouri (6), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), New York (15), North Carolina (2), North Dakota (1), Ohio (5), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (6), South Carolina (2), Texas (2), Utah (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (4).

To date, CDC has identified four different Salmonella serotypes as contributing to the outbreak: Salmonella enterica serotypes I 4,[5],12:i:-, Infantis, London, and Newport.

Based on epidemiology, lab results, and traceback investigations, pig ear dog treats appear to be the source of the outbreak.

In addition to the Salmonella serotypes already identified in the outbreak, testing carried out by Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the FDA found Salmonella PanamaSalmonella BrandenburgSalmonella Anatum, and Salmonella Livingstone in treat samples purchased from retailers.

CDC is reviewing its databases to determine whether any of the additional strains have been associated with reports of human illness.

Illnesses were linked to contaminated pig ear dog treats were imported from Argentina and Brazil, according to traceback investigations carried out by FDA. However, these two sources do not account for all of the 127 reported infections.

In addition to the existing Import Alert 72-03 on pig ear pet treats, FDA is increasing its scrutiny of pig ears imported into the United States through sampling and examination.


On July 3rd, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins from its stores in 33 states.

On July 26th, Lennox Intl. Inc. recalled Natural Pig ears that were shipped to to nationwide distributors and/or retail stores from May 1st, to July 3rd, 2019.

On July 30th, Lennox expanded its recall to include packages of Premium Natural Pig Ears shipped to nationwide distributors and/or retail stores from November 1st 2018, to July 3rd, 2019.

More products may be recalled and more suppliers identified as testing continues.


The FDA takes seriously our responsibility to protect both human and animal health,” said Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Multiple products have tested positive for numerous types of Salmonella resulting in two company recalls to date. Given this and the links to human illness, we believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products. We also continue to advise those who may have come into contact with potentially contaminated products to practice safe hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands and disinfecting any surfaces that have touched pig ear pet treats. The FDA will provide additional updates as our investigation further progresses.


  • Do not feed any pig ear treats to your dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.
  • Even if some of the pig ears were fed to your dog and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to your dog.
  • Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held any pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
  • People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonellamay do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN Network) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
  • FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.


Recalls and Alerts: September 9 – 11, 2017

Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Allergy Alert: Coborn’s, Inc. recalls American Rye Bread (Expiry September 7 or earlier; UPC 7-33147-20150-3) and Caraway Rye Bread (Expiry September 7 or earlier; UPC 7-33147-20155-8) due to undeclared milk, soy and egg. The recalled products were sold at Coborn’s and Cash Wise Stores in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota; Marketplace Foods stores in Western Wisconsin; and CobornsDelivers in the Twin Cities Metro area.

Outbreak Alert/Food Safety Recall: Bravo Produce Inc. recalls Maradol Papayas grown by Productores y Exportadores de Carica Papaya de Tecomán y Costa Alegre SPR of RL and packed by Frutas Selectas de Tijuana, S. de RL de CV (Distributed within California August 10 to 29, 2017; Lot codes 1222335215, 1222635220, 1222335216, 1223035223, 1223335227, 1223835233, 1222235215, 1222535220, 1222235216, 1222835223, 1223435230, 1222235216, 1222935223, 1222135214, 1222935223, 1222935223, 1222135214, 1222235216, 1222935223, 1223035223, 1222935221, 1223035223 and 1223835233) because FDA found Salmonella in a sample of the product. The recalled papayas were distributed in California. Based on lab, epidemiological and traceback evidence, Maradol papayas imported by Bravo Produce Inc. of San Ysidro, California, are the likely source 14 known cases of Salmonella Anatum illnesses reported in California, Arizona and Colorado. Five people have been hospitalized in this outbreak and one death has been reported.

Food Safety Alert: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture advises consumers to discard pints of chocolate milk from Moo Echo Dairy in Somerset County (sell-by date of September 21, 2017) due to improper pasteurization.

Food Safety Alert: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture advises consumers to discard heavy cream from Oregon Dairy, Inc. in Lancaster County (pints and quarts; sell-by date of September 7, 2017) due to improper pasteurization.

Food Safety Alert: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture advises consumers to discard heavy cream from The Spring House Dairy in Washington County (plastic pints and plastic half gallons; code 9-03) due to improper pasteurization.


Allergy Alert: Pain Markouk recalls Pain Markouk brand White Bread and Whole Wheat Bread ( 4 PSC 500 g – 16 oz; all lots sold up to September 7, 2017) due to undeclared sesame seeds, milk and mustard seed.

Food Safety Recall: La Reine Pâtisserie recalls various pastry products (all lots sold up to September 8, 2017), because the items were not produced in a manner that ensures they are safe for consumption. Please refer to the recall notice for additional details.


Allergy Alert (Ireland): Whitworths Ltd. recalls Whitworths Milk Chocolate Raisins (150g; Batch code L519517; Best before July 2018) due to undeclared peanuts.

Allergy Alert (UK): Whitworths Ltd recalls Whitworths Milk Chocolate Raisins (150g; Batch code L519517; Best before July 2018) due to undeclared peanuts.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Food Safety Recall (Hong Kong): Culina (HK) Ltd recalls Dischamp brand Saint Nectaire Laitier pasteurized milk cheese (Lot Nos. 7212132 and 7213131; Use by November 30, 2017; Product of France) due to potential Salmonella contamination.

Some supermarket chains post recall notices on their web sites for the convenience of customers. To see whether a recalled food was carried by your favorite supermarket, follow the live link to the supermarket’s recall website.

*The Kroger umbrella encompasses numerous supermarket, marketplace and convenience store chains
**Includes Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs and Pak N’ Save.