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Chicken Jerky Treats Recalled After Salmonella Infects 21 People

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The danger of contaminated pet food

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing a voluntary recall of Joey’s Jerky brand Chicken Jerky due to possible Salmonella risk.

The recall, announced on Tuesday, said 21 people in Merrimack and Hillsborough Counties “have been identified with the same strain of the illness, but no deaths have occurred.” Although confirmation through laboratory testing of the jerky is pending at the New Hampshire Public Health Labs.

Through investigation and interviewing the ill people, the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control determined that the jerky treats were implicated in spreading Salmonella.

Joey’s Jerky is produced in New Hampshire and the manufacturer, Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations, LLC, has voluntarily recalled all of the product. Joey’s Jerky was sold at the following six stores: America’s Pet in Hudson, Blue Seal in Bow, K9 Kaos in Dover, Osborne’s Agway in Concord, Sandy’s Pet Food Center in Concord, and The Yellow Dogs Barn in Barrington.

“While uncommon, pet food and treats can sometimes be contaminated with Salmonella, which is why it is so important for pet owners to wash their hands after handling pet food and treats,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “I want to commend the manufacturer of Joey’s Jerky for their cooperation in this investigation and the epidemiologists here at Public Health for their excellent work. Salmonella can be a serious illness and the sooner the source of an outbreak is identified the sooner it can be stopped.”

Salmonella is a pathogen to both humans and animals. There is a risk for humans handling the contaminated dog food if poor hand washing techniques are not performed or surfaces in contact with the dog food are not properly cleaned.

In humans, Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Pets, including dogs, with Salmonella can become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. The clinical features of canine salmonellosis vary on strain, amount ingested and dog host factors.

Many dogs however are asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria and may shed Salmonella for up to 100 days after being infected. This can become a risk for family members and anyone with confirmed salmonellosis without a known risk of exposure, the family pet should be tested regardless of symptoms.

Infectious Disease Control determined that the jerky treats were implicated in spreading Salmonella. Confirmation through laboratory testing of the jerky is pending at the New Hampshire Public Health Labs.

For more information consumers are asked to contact the New Hampshire Public Information Office (603) 271-9391 or to contact Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations, LLC (603) 494-5954, e-mail: joeysjerky@comcast.net for further information. Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations does not have a website, and Joey’s Jerky’s website is not active.

For more information on Salmonella, contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 or visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/salmonella.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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