The Connecticut Department of Agriculture says it will be inspecting about 70 pet supply and feed stores in the state to determine whether they are complying with a national recall of pet food produced by the Diamond Pet Food company.
The agency said anyone who has the tainted dog food which has been linked to salmonella infections in 14 people, should throw it away. It also issued these guidelines:
People should wash their hands for 20 seconds with hot running water and soap
- Before and after handling pet foods and treats;
- After petting, touching, handling or feeding pets, especially after contact with feces;
- Before preparing your own food and before eating.
The Agriculture Department also advises that because infants and children are especially susceptible to foodborne illneses, they should be kept away from the areas where pets are fed; not be allowed to touch those areas or allowed to touch or eat pet food.
Human symptoms of salmonella include fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Anyone with the symptoms should contact their physician. Animal symptoms of a salmonella infection include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some may only have a decreased appetite, feveral and abdominal pain.
Pets also can infect other animals and humans.
For a list of the recalled brands of pet foods with their corresponding production codes at http://diamondpetrecall.com/.
A dry dog food recall is in effect following an outbreak of Salmonella infections reportedly linked to products made by Diamond Pet Foods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14 people — including one from Connecticut — have contracted Salmonella that was linked to exposure to the dry food, at least five of whom required hospitalization.
The CDC has reportedly linked the contamination multiple brands of dog food produced at Diamond Pet Food’s plant in Gaston, SC. At least 12 brands of dry dog food are affected, and of those only certain lots, or batches, are being recalled on a voluntary basis, according to reports on injuryboard.com and Food Safety News.
The dog food sickened people in nine states including Connecticut, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, between October 2011 and April 22, according to the CDC report. No pet illnesses have been reported.
People can contract the illness by failing to wash their hands after handling the dry food or after handling their pet while it is sick.
As reported in on May 3, Diamond recently expanded the voluntary recall to include one production run and four production codes of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light formula dry dog food.
*Editor Barbara Heins contributed to this report.