The CDC released a report today linking 79 Salmonella infections to dry pet food. According to the New York Times, this is the first time human infections have been linked to dry dog or cat food:
The infections occurred from January 2006 through October 2008 in 21 states. More than 23,000 tons of pet food were recalled, affecting 105 brands, and the manufacturing plant, in western Pennsylvania, was shut in 2008.
The report on the outbreak does not identify the manufacturer of the implicated product. The strain involved was the uncommon Salmonella schwarzengrund. 32 of the 79 reported illnesses occurred in children age 2 or younger. This apparently led authors of the study to recommend that children under 5 not be allowed to touch or eat pet food, and be "kept away from pet feeding areas."
According to the newspaper report, CDC officials also stressed the importance of hand washing after handling pet food or cleaning up after pets.