ASPCA warns against using contaminated pet food

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New York, NY - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals now is joining in the effort to warn pet owners about tainted pet foods.

New York, NY

- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) now is joining in the effort to warn pet owners about using certain dog and cat foods that may be contaminated with

Salmonella

serotype Schwarzengrund.

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"The ASPCA recommends that pet parents discontinue the use of all affected products immediately until further information has been received," says Dr. Steven Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist and the ASPCA's senior vice president for Animal Health Services. "Pet parents should wash their hands after handling any potentially contaminated food and immediately consult with a veterinarian if any signs or symptoms are noticed in their pets."

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in pets include diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, and general lethargy. Infections in humans are indicated by similar symptoms, and, if left untreated, could result in more serious complications such as arterial infections, endocarditis and urinary tract symptoms.

The ASPCA's warning is in response to Mars Petcare voluntary recall of certain pet foods manufactured at its Everson, Pa., facility. The company stopped production at the plant on July 29 after two isolated cases of human Salmonella Schwarzengrund infection were reported and a possible link was made from those cases to the dry pet food produced by Mars. No direct link has been made, the company says, but it is taking precautions by voluntarily recalling all the products made at the Everson plant from Feb. 18, 2008 through July 29, 2008.

Mars is working with the FDA to determine the source of the possible contamination, and the company says it has no immediate plans to resume production at the plant.

Affected pet food types included in the recall are Pedigree large breed and small crunchy bites dog foods, Ol' Roy dog and puppy food, Red Flannel dog foods, Pet Pride cats foods, Paws & Claws cat food, and Members Mark dog and cat foods. A full list of all the products recalled can be found here.

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