Dr. Stephen Sundlof, a veterinarian who is the director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said that the risk to animals is minimal but that people who handle contaminated treats could come in contact with the salmonella bacteria.
Choice Dog Biscuits sold between Aug. 21, 2008 and Jan. 19, 2009:
Small Assorted 32 oz., UPC 73725702900
Small/Medium Assorted 4 lb., UPC 73725700601
Small/Medium Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700605
Small/Medium Assorted 10 lb., UPC 73725702755
Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700638
Extra Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700779
Peanut Butter 4 lb., UPC 73725700766
"It's especially important that children wash their hands after feeding treats to pets" because the bacteria could be on the surface, Sundlof said.
Sundlof said dogs aren't immune to salmonella and in some cases could get
sick. They may be lethargic or get bloody diarrhea.
On the other hand, they may never show symptoms at all but could still carry the bacteria.
PetSmart said it "is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to these products" but has removed the products from the shelves as a precautionary measure.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say that of the nearly
500 people sickened, 107 have been hospitalized.
The most recent death was recorded Saturday.
The first illnesses were reported September 8, and the most recent illness was reported January 8. The CDC still considers it an ongoing outbreak.
The CDC does not consider salmonella typhimurium any more virulent than any
The strain "is not more or less than we would expect in a normal outbreak," said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases.
The FDA had reported that some of the samples from the Georgia plant tested
positive for salmonella.
On Wednesday, it said one sample was found in a crack
of a floorboard near a bathroom and another was found on the floor near pallets
in another room.
Neither sample tested positive for the specific strain found in the sickened people, however.
Sundlof said the lack of a match makes no difference from a regulatory point of view.