RECALL: Boots & Barkley Beef Bully Sticks for Salmonella contamination

I wouldn’t chew a penis if you paid me!


I’ve often wondered, just what are bully sticks, anyway? I’m sure some other puppy moms and dads would love to know what bully sticks are made of too. Brace yourself….bully sticks are bull penises. You heard right.

Historically, pizzles, or rather penises, have been used to make bull whips, walking canes, medicinal powders, and are even eaten by people in some parts of the world today. In fact, it is a popular dish for men seeking, how shall I phrase it, stamina? Heck, why take Viagra when you can eat bull penis soup?

In the United States, however, bull penises are most commonly used as dog chews. The baked and dried bull penises come in all varieties – curly, braided, knotted, sun-dried, oven baked, odor-free, organic, thick and thin – you name it. You know what farmers say, ‘We use everything but the Moo!’. Indeed.

How are these poor penis’ processed? I thought you’d never ask…

Bull penises are usually 22-25 inches long (!!) in their natural state. After the bull has been slaughtered, the penis is removed and is hung vertically until all fluids contained have been drained (Ew!). The draining of the fluids causes the final product to be odorless. (Oh, God. Smelly?)

The bull penis is then stretched to approximately 30-40 inches long (Ouch!). It is sterilized and usually dipped in a natural liquid smoke product (Whatever that is). Then they are twisted into pleasing shapes or chopped into sticks.

Just remember, hide the penis dog chews when Grandmother comes to visit, lest she inquire about the type of treat your pooch is gnawing on.

Now for the boring bit:

Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully sticks are being recalled due to possible salmonella. Here’s the press release from the FDA.

Kasel Associated Industries of Denver, CO is voluntarily recalling its BOOTS & BARKLEY 6 COUNT 5 INCH AMERICAN BEEF BULLY STICKS product because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can sicken animals that eat these products and humans are at risk for salmonella poisoning from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these symptoms after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled American Beef Bully Sticks were distributed nationwide through Target retail stores from April through September 2012.

The product comes in a clear plastic bag containing 6 bully sticks marked with bar code number 647263899189. Kasel Industries is recalling all lot numbers because the following lot codes tested positive through analysis by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture: BESTBY20APR2014DEN, BESTBY01JUN2014DEN, BESTBY23JUN2014DEN, and BESTBY23SEP2014DEN.

No illnesses have been reported to date in animals or humans in connection with this problem.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture which revealed that the finished products contained the Salmonella bacteria. The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue investigating as to the source of the contamination. No other products made by Kasel Associated Industries are included in the recall.

Consumers who have purchased the 6 count 5 inch packages of Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Kasel Associated Industries at 1-800-218-4417 Monday thru Friday from 7am to 5pm MDT.

See the release about the recall on the FDA website.

Photo credit: PuglyPixel.

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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.