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Pet treats withdrawn after salmonella contamination

AN AMERICAN pet food manufacturer has recalled a number of dog and cat treats following five cases of salmonella contamination associated with the treats.

T.W. Enterprises of Ferndale, Washington alerted consumers recently that it is recalling certain dog and cat treats it markets because they may be contaminated with Salmonella Thompson.

People handling these treats can become infected with Salmonella Thompson, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with any the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Salmonella Thompson is an organism that can cause serious infections in small children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people may only suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. Long-term complications can include arthritis.

T.W. Enterprises Inc. manufactures these pet treats and distributed them throughout the United States under its name and the Aron Pet Food name. Aron Pet Food of Abbotsford, British Columbia imported raw materials from T.W. Enterprises into Canada for use in products that were sold there under the Aron Pet Food label. This firm is also conducting a recall of these products.

It is likely that none of these products are on general sale in the UK, although there is always a chance that some may be privately imported, possibly by holidaymakers returning form the US or Canada with treats for their dog or cat.

T.W. Enterprises has informed the US Food and Drugs Agency of its action and is fully cooperating with the agency. FDA, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Public Health Agency of Canada became aware of the problem after five cases (three in Canada and two in the United States) of Salmonella Thompson infection developed among people who may have handled these pet treats. Follow up analysis indicated that the illnesses were linked to these pet treats.

The firm, FDA and the other authorities are actively investigating this matter to determine the source of this problem, and will take any additional steps necessary to protect the public health.