As of November 1, 2023, seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from seven states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 14, 2023, to August 19, 2023. One person was hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
State and local public health officials are interviewing people or their family about pets or pet food that the sick person may have come into contact with before they got sick. Of the five people interviewed, all (100%) reported contact with a dog or having a dog in the household, and three (60%) fed their dogs Victor brand dog food. One person reported feeding the Hi-Pro Plus product, and the other two did not remember the specific type of Victor brand product they fed their dogs.
Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same product.
Victor brand Hi-Pro Plus dog food with a lot code of 1000016385 was collected from retail for routine testing by the South Carolina State Department of Agriculture and Salmonella was identified through analysis by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. WGS showed that the Salmonella in this dog food is closely related to bacteria from sick people. This means that people likely got sick by touching this dog food, touching things like dog bowls that contained this dog food, or touching the poop or saliva of dogs that were fed this dog food. There have been no leftover Victor brand products from sick people’s homes available for testing for Salmonella.