The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC is collaborating with public health officials in Pennsylvania and other states and with the FDA to investigate a potential link between an outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infection in humans and an undisclosed brand of dry pet food made by Mars Petcare that may have been produced at a single plant in Pennsylvania. As of Sept. 4, 62 persons infected with the same strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund were reported to the CDC from 18 states and cases continue to be reported. There have been no related reports of illness in pets, although the outbreak strain was isolated in fecal specimens from two dogs that ate dry pet food in the homes of two of the ill persons. The dog food being recalled was sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of select 5 pound bags of Krasdale Gravy dry dog food and 50 pound bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food at the end of August. The FDA has confirmed detecting Salmonella in a sample of Krasdale Gravy dry dog food with "best by" dates of July 16 and 17, 2008. Investigations are continuing to determine why human illness is associated with dry pet food. Factors under scrutiny include handling and storage of dry pet food, hand-washing practices, exposure of children to dry pet food and location in the home where pets are fed.
In a separate case, Wal-Mart pulled a certain type of chicken jerky for pets off store shelves. The company had received a small number of complaints about a jerky product manufactured by Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Shanghai Bestro Trading. A laboratory found traces of melamine in the jerky product, but the laboratory recommended further testing because of the low concentrations of the substance. Melamine is primarily used to produce melamine resin, which when combined with formaldehyde produces a very durable thermosetting plastic. This plastic is often used in kitchen utensils or plates. In animal studies, ingestion of large amounts of melamine in monomer form may lead to kidney stones, cancer or reproductive damage.