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Chef Toby Pig Ear Dog Treat Recall Expanded; Health Officials Discover Treats Contaminated with Salmonella

Today, Dog Goods USA LLC (Dog Goods), announced the expansion of an earlier recall of their Berkley & Jensen brand Chef Toby Pig Ears after the Rhode Island Department of Health testing found Salmonella on their treats. The treats were imported from Brazil, a country from which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had traced back some of the contaminate pig ears treats were thought to have originated.

Dog Goods claims, that during an internal investigation, they did not find “any vulnerability in the company’s practices, including but not limited to the inspection, handling, and storage of the Products”; this, despite the company’s lack of a kill- step of the products which originated from Brazil, a country known to the FDA as exporting Salmonella contaminated pig ears from.

After the company was contacted by the FDA and the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dog Goods expanded its recall of their non-irradiated bulk and packaged pig ears. The recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

The following affected products are listed below.

428590 278989 087148 224208 1168723 428590 222999
074599 1124053 226884 578867 224897 1234750 444525
1106709 215812 230273 224970 585246 327901 052248
210393 217664 331199 225399 867680 050273 881224
424223 225979 431724 226340 880207 334498

Recalls of pig ears have continued since the Centers for Disease Control, and the FDA began an investigation into a link between an outbreak of salmonellosis in people who handled pig ears or came in contact with a dog that had been fed a pig ears. The FDA has warned retailers to stop selling pig ears, and for consumers to dispose of the treats s and monitor themselves and their pets for signs of disease.

While many still argue that the risk of being infected with Salmonella bacteria from an animal remains low, Salmonella, in food (human and otherwise) is considered by the FDA as an adulterant. The agency warns that infected but otherwise healthy people, as well as pets, can be carriers of the bacteria and infect other animals and humans.

The FDA is recommending consumers take the following precautions:

  • The FDA and CDC recommend that people avoid purchasing or feeding any pig ear pet treats at this time. This recommendation may change as more information becomes available.
  • If you have pig ear treats, throw them away in a secure container where animals, including wildlife, cannot access it. Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products.
  • In general, if you choose to feed treats like pig ears, practice good hygiene by: monitoring your pet while they have the treat, picking up the treat when they are done with it, keeping treats away from small children, cleaning the areas the treat contacted, washing hands, and not allowing your pet to lick you, your family members, or surfaces in your home.
  • Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their healthcare providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products are urged to dispose of them in a secure container. Consumers with questions may contact Dog Goods USA LLC at 786-401-6533 from Monday to Friday 9 am EST through 5 pm EST.

For more information and Salmonella and its symptoms and health risks, please refer to the FDA investigation on the connection between Salmonella infections and contaminated pig ears.

The following links provide more information on the FDA’s ongoing investigation of Salmonella contaminated pig ears and their link to human illness:


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Mollie Morrissette

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


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