The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella I 4,,12:i:-- infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.
Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- have been reported from 13 states. Twelve ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak. In interviews, 34 (89%) of 38 ill people reported contact with a dog before getting sick.
Of 24 people with available information, 17 (71%) reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed pig ear dog treats.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products. They sampled pig ears for Salmonella. Although the outbreak strain was not identified, other strains of Salmonella were. Investigators are checking to see if any human illnesses are linked to those strains. Retail locations where sampling occurred have removed pig ears from shelves.
A common supplier of pig ear treats in this outbreak has not been identified.