Diamond Pet Food Linked to Samonella Outbreak in Humans

Federal officials say at least 14 people have been infected with Salmonella Infantis, apparently from contact with dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods.

Public health investigators say they used DNA "fingerprints" to identify the strain of Salmonella, matching several of the cases with dry pet food produced at a Diamond plant in South Carolina. Illness in humans has been reported in nine states, including Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The illnesses began between October 8, 2011 and April 22, 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ill persons range in age from less than one year old to 82 years old. Seventy-seven percent of patients are female. Among the 9 patients with available information, five were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The CDC cautioned that there may be cases that have not been reported, including any illness that occurred after April 1.

Lamb meal

PhotoOn April 2, 2012, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food, which had been collected March 14, 2012, during routine retail testing of dry pet food, the CDC said.

Public health investigators identified recent cases of human illness matching the Salmonella Infantis strain found in the unopened bag of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill. Seven of ten reported contact with a dog in the week before becoming ill.

Of five ill persons who could recall the type of dog food with which they had contact, four identified dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods that may have been produced at a single facility in South Carolina.

As part of this outbreak investigation, Ohio public health and agriculture officials collected and tested dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis was isolated from an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store.

A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility has also yielded Salmonella.

The investigation is continuing to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at this facility may be linked to human illnesses.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Consumer Affairs

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