MINNEAPOLIS — Normally you'd think of salmonella being a problem in the kitchen with food WE eat, but the CDC says you need to check your dog treats.
The CDC is tracking 45 cases of salmonella in 13 states and the likely culprit is something you’d probably never expect, pig ears.
CDC investigators say 89% of the people they interviewed in the outbreak had recent contact with dogs when they started showing symptoms of salmonella.
Of those people, 71% reported buying pig ears for their dogs.
Investigators haven’t been able to trace down the outbreak to one company in particular, but the agency says the outbreak is primarily focused in the Midwest.
So far no cases in Minnesota have been reported in Minnesota, but nearly every bordering state has at least one case, with Iowa and Michigan being the hardest hit.
Dr. Kaitlin Monson with the Animal Humane Society isn't surprised.
"I don't personally feed rawhide in my home of any kind and this is one of the reasons." Monson says.
She says pig’s ears, and other forms of “rawhide” aren’t exactly raw.
In most cases they go through a curing and hardening process before being sold to consumers, but even so, Monson says any meat-based product can harbor harmful bacteria like salmonella.
“Your dog can get sick from it by eating it or licking it and we too can get sick by touching the treat and then touching our mouth or eyes, or even having your dog lick your face after they’ve been chewing on it,” Mons says.
The CDC recommends thorough hand washing after handling treats such as pig ears.
And treats and all dog food in a designated spot in your home...away from kids.
With designated bowls and scoops you only use for pet food.