ARCHIVED - Public Health Notice: Illnesses related to Salmonella and pet food


Updated: May 18, 2012

Why you should take note

Several people in the United States and two people in Canada have become ill with a Salmonella infection as a result of contact with pets or pet food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. A manufacturer in the United States, Diamond Pet Foods, has recalled several batches of its dry pet food due to possible contamination with Salmonella, including pet food that was shipped to Canada.

The affected pet food was distributed to British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and may have been distributed to other provinces and territories.

The Canadian cases of illness are from Quebec and Nova Scotia.

What you should do

Check if you have recalled pet food in your home.

Diamond Pet Foods has posted the particular brands and lot numbers that are affected as well as maps that show Canadian and U.S. distribution of the pet food. The information is also available by calling 1-866-918-8756.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted information about additional brands of pet food that have also been recalled due to Salmonella contamination. The information is also available by calling 1-888-463-6332.

Health Canada is also issuing recall notices for affected pet food available in Canada.

If you have the affected product, do not feed it to your pet. Call the manufacturer's hotline at 1-866-918-8756 to ask about a refund, or secure it in a plastic bag and throw it out and then wash your hands thoroughly in warm soapy water.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after feeding, handling or cleaning up after pets. Clean surfaces that come into contact with pet food or ill pets.  

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection

Pets such as dogs, cats, amphibians and reptiles and their food can carry Salmonella bacteria. People can get infected with the bacteria from handling their pets or their pet's food or feces.

Symptoms of salmonellosis often include:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

Who is most at risk?

Anyone can become sick from salmonellosis, but children are likely to be at higher risk in a case like this where pets and pet food are involved. Seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are less robust.

Most people who become ill from salmonellosis will recover fully after a few days.

It's possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others.

How to protect yourself

Do not handle any of the products listed in the recallpet food.

Wash your hands thoroughly after feeding, handling or cleaning up after pets.
Anyone who is or has been in close contact with someone who might be infected with Salmonella should:

  • wash their hands thoroughly and regularly
  • use separate towels for the sick
  • wash their clothes in hot water, and
  • clean bathroom taps, toilets, and doorknobs at least once a day with an antiseptic cleaner.

Generally the disease will run its course in four to seven days. Treatment for those infected with Salmonella should include drinking plenty of liquids to replace body fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting.

You may wish to check with your doctor if you believe you have a Salmonella infection and you:

  • are 65 years or older
  • have a weakened immune system
  • experience severe symptoms
  • experience symptoms lasting longer than seven days.

Additional information

If your pet is sick and you are concerned that it may be infected with Salmonella, please contact your veterinarian.

Media Contact

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
(613) 941-8189

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