Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
On rare occasions, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. Mars recommends that any people or pets who have been in contact with any recalled products and who suffering any of the symptoms described should contact their healthcare provider or veterinarian.
The company stopped production at the Everson facility on July 29, 2008 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund. Although no direct link has been confirmed Mars is taking precautionary action to protect pets and their owners by announcing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the facility. Collaboration with the FDA to determine the nature and source of Salmonella Schwarzengrund at the Everson facility is ongoing.
Many of the brands involved in the recall are national brands produced at multiple facilities throughout the country and Mars has provided a chart of lot codes that you can use to identify recalled products (see link below).