The Minnesota Departments of Health (MDH) and Agriculture (MDA) are investigating two cases of Salmonella Reading infection with the same DNA fingerprint pattern; the cases are children in the Twin Cities metro area who became ill after raw ground turkey food for pets was fed to pets in their home.
The children became ill in January. One child’s infection resulted in osteomyelitis, a painful and serious bone infection. This child was hospitalized and is now recovering at home.
The same strain of Salmonella Reading was found in samples of Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets tested by MDA and MDH.
The contaminated raw turkey pet food was produced on Oct. 12, 2017 and sold online on the Raws for Paws website. Some of the product may have been resold after the initial purchase.
The recalled product is packaged into one-pound and five-pound sealed plastic tubes, also known as chubs. The chubs are packaged into regular Turkey Pet Food cases with case codes of 9900008, 9900009. They are also packaged into Pet Food Combo Pack cases, which contain a variety of pet food products, with case codes 9900014 and 9900015. The recalled lot codes and the manufacturing dates are printed on the cardboard case label. See FDA: Raws For Paws Recalls Turkey Pet Food Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk.
The product was recalled on Feb. 5 by the manufacturer. Consumers who purchased the pet food directly from the company were notified of the recall. However, consumers may not realize that the product they have in their homes is included in the recall.
Any affected lots should be returned to the company or discarded and not used. If you do not know the lot number but you bought this pet food since Oct. 12, 2017, return it or discard it. Do not use the product.
In addition, pet dishes, floors, and the area around the feeding station should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Salmonella bacteria can survive for weeks on surfaces in the home, which can serve as a continuing source of infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend feeding a raw meat diet to pets because it can make animals and people sick. If you choose to use pet food containing raw meat, follow CDC’s tips for healthy feeding: Pet Food Safety
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 96 hours after exposure, but they can begin as long as one or two weeks after a person is exposed to Salmonella bacteria. Infections usually resolve in five to seven days, but approximately 28 percent of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Invasive infections (for example, blood stream infections, meningitis, osteomyelitis) occasionally occur. Many Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy people do not require medical treatment. For those who seek health care, most do not require antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatment may be warranted for more severe infections or for people in some categories. If you’ve handled these products, become ill and are concerned about your health, please consult your health care provider for more information.
Approximately 700-975 Salmonella infections are reported each year in Minnesota. More information on Salmonella and how to prevent it can be found on the MDH website at Salmonellosis (Salmonella).