FDA, CDC: Stop buying pig ear treats

Published on September 11, 2019

Health authorities are warning against buying pig ear pet treats, which are linked to at least 127 cases of salmonellosis in humans.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced July 31 that people should stop buying any pig ear treats or giving them to pets. Retailers should stop selling them and wash and sanitize containers or surfaces touched by the products.

The illnesses have occurred in 33 states since 2015, and 26 people have been hospitalized. Exposure to the treats has been linked with infection with four Salmonella enterica serotypes: I 4,[5],12:i:-, Infantis, London, and Newport.

"If you have pig ear treats, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it," an FDA announcement states. "Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products."

FDA investigations into some of the treats found they originated in Argentina and Brazil. Pig ears sold in bulk bins can be commingled from multiple sources, which can prevent investigators from distinguishing products.

Two companies issued recalls in July: Pet Supplies Plus, which recalled all pig ear products sold in bulk bins at its retail stores, and Lennox Intl. Inc., which is a supplier to Pet Supplies Plus and an importer of pig ears from Argentina and Brazil.