The Oakland-based pet retail chain Pet Food Express is removing all pig ear dog treats from stores, including two in the Palo Alto area, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration linked them to 127 cases of salmonella.
The FDA is investigating 127 human cases of salmonellosis, an infection caused by salmonella bacteria, with a suspected link to the treats. Some of the treats originated in Argentina and Brazil.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and for retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time.
Pet Food Express is removing all of the treats from its 65 stores in California, according to the company. The chain has one Palo Alto store located at 3910 Middlefield Road near Piazza's Market and another in Mountain View's Blossom Valley neighborhood at 1768 Miramonte Ave. If pet owners have purchased pig ear treats at Pet Food Express or any other store, the company is offering to exchange them free of charge for a safe treat or toy.
The chain has also provided guidelines to prevent employee and customer illness related to the treats, including washing and sanitizing all bins or surfaces that may have come in contact with the treats.
One distributor of pig ear treats, Lennox International Inc., has recalled some of the treats involved in the outbreak. Retailer Pet Supplies Plus also recalled bulk pig ears after samples tested positive for salmonella.
According to the FDA, if someone has pig ear treats, they should throw them away in a secure container where animals cannot access it, wash their hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that may have come into contact with the treats.