Tainted Pet Food Sickened Children, Report Says
CHICAGO, IL. (AP) Fido's food may be making kids sick, a government report warns, detailing the first known salmonella outbreak in humans, mostly young children, linked to pet food.
The outbreak sickened 79 people in 21 mostly eastern states, between 2006 and 2008. Almost half of the victims were children aged 2 and younger.
Dry pet foods are an under-recognized source of salmonella infections in humans, and it's likely other illnesses since then were unknowingly caused by tainted pet food, said Casey Barton Behravesh, the report's lead author and a researcher at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least six unrelated pet food recalls have been issued this year by manufacturers because of possible salmonella contamination, Food and Drug Administration data show. FDA spokesman Ira Allen said there have been no reported salmonella illnesses linked to pet food since the 2006-08 outbreak.
A report about the outbreak was published online Monday by the medical journal Pediatrics.
There have been no known cases of human salmonella linked with wet pet food.
The outbreak was blamed on salmonella bacteria found in several brands of dry dog and cat food produced at a Mars Petcare US plant in Pennsylvania, including Pedigree and Special Kitty.
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