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Salmonella Risk Prompts Pet Food Recall

Possible Contamination of Mars Petcare Products Could Pose Risk to People and Pets
By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 15, 2008 -- Mars Petcare is recalling pet food products manufactured at its Everson, Pa., facility because of a potential salmonella contamination. In addition to being dangerous for pets, the pet food could sicken people who handle the food.

Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable. If you think you may have been exposed, look for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

On rare occasions, salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. The FDA urges people with these symptoms who have come into contact with the pet products to contact a health care provider.

Some animals may have similar symptoms, but others may have minimal or no symptoms. Whether or not they have signs, they could infect other animals and humans.

Many pet food brands are produced at the plant, including several varieties of Pedigree and a number of flavors of Special Kitty Gourmet. A complete list of brands is posted on the FDA web site.

Mars Petcare stopped production at the Everson facility July 29 after learning of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with salmonella. The company is now implementing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the facility between Feb. 18 and July 29; only the U.S. is affected.

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