Navigation Links
Your Pet's Food Dish Could Serve Up Salmonella

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Dry pet food may be a little-known source of Salmonella bacterial infection among humans, and young children seem to be especially at risk, a new study finds.

The authors of the study say they tracked a 2006-2008 Salmonella outbreak that sickened 79 American patients -- about half of them 2 years old or younger -- to household use of dry cat and dog food.

"It's a tough thing because pets are not symptomatic like we are and can shed this [bacterium] for up to 10 to 12 weeks" in their feces, said Dr. Peter Richel, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., who is familiar with the findings. "It is a little disconcerting to hear that otherwise benign-appearing pet food can pose any risk at all."

The issue has made headlines in recent days with several varieties of Iams and Eukanuba dog and cat food recalled last week due to potential Salmonella contamination. The manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, says no cases of human Salmonella have yet been linked to these products.

The proportion of people who fell ill from contaminated pet food in the 21-state outbreak covered by the new study was small, but the fact that the food-borne illness affected young children so drastically is troubling, experts said.

Salmonella, a food-borne illness, can be serious in infants and the elderly.

Reporting in the September issue of Pediatrics, researchers led by Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that contact with pets and contact with the pet's environment -- their bed and where they eat and sleep, for example -- can result in human infections.

Feeding pets in the kitchen quadrupled the risk of illness, although "the reasons for that are a little unclear," said Dr. Timothy Pfanner, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a gastroenterologist with Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas.

"It looks like the bacteria multiply either on the floor of the kitchen, or I suspect people don't clean their dog bowls," said Pfanner, who was not involved in the study.

On the other hand, the researchers found that children who actually put pet food into their mouth seemed to have no added risk.

The Pennsylvania plant where the contaminated pet food was manufactured was eventually closed, the researchers note. However, they add that since 2006, at least 135 pet products, including pet supplements and pigs' ears, have been recalled as a result of Salmonella contamination.

This new study, "re-emphasizes the importance of washing your hands whenever you deal with anything from a pet, including petting him, touching his mouth or cleaning up after him, especially for children whose immune systems are very weak in comparison to adults," said Dr. Philip Tierno, clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City and author of The Secret Life of Germs.

"Hand washing is the single most important thing anyone can do to protect their health, and that's within everyone's purview if you teach them," Tierno said. "You can do that and not be afraid."

Another precaution is to have well-packaged, well-stored pet food, keeping it out of the reach of infants and toddlers, said Richel.

"This is a small section of total cases of Salmonella, but it's important because so many of our kids are on the floor all the time," said Pfanner.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Salmonella.

SOURCES: Timothy Pfanner, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and gastroenterologist, Scott & White, Temple, Texas; Pete Richel, M.D., chief of pediatrics, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; Philip M. Tierno, Jr., M.D., clinical professor of microbiology and pathology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y., and author The Secret Life of Germs; September 2010 Pediatrics, online Aug. 9

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Pets Guardian Provides A Pet Safety System, Ensuring Pets Will Be Cared For In Case of a Personal Emergency
2. Where Do Pets Go When They Dream?
3. Caring for Diabetic Pets Helps Humans Get Healthier
4. Trupanion Emphasizes the Importance of Pet Insurance for Small Pets
5. Artificial Legs Now a Reality for Pets
6. New England Journal of Medicine Article Trumpets “Priority” Status of Helping Patients Take Medications Correctly
7. The Bella Moss Foundation Announces U.S. Tour to Raise Awareness of MRSA in Pets
8. Pet Dental Month Prime Time To Schedule Preventive Annual Cleaning For Pets
9. Study finds proximity could be key to success of healing prayer
10. New imaging technique could help physicians ease the aftermath of breast cancer
11. Pilot safety protocol could help dentists reduce errors
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Your Pet's Food Dish Could Serve Up Salmonella
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the conversation at the recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved ... can help protect a patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed at ... people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive ... being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical care ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion ... Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an ... as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced ... User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics ... software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    --> ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... nouvelle approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement ...    Clinical Cancer Research . ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- --> --> ... potential to save costs, improve treatment quality and accelerate ... exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is placed on ... tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... -->      (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... November 27, 2015 Ein ... fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> Ein neuer ... Krebs.   --> Ein neuer ... Krebs.   Clinical Cancer Research ... Clinical Cancer Research vom 6. November 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: