Salmonellosis Outbreak Linked to Pet Treats: Alert for New Hampshire Clinicians

|September 11, 2013
 

On August 28, 2013, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) Bureau of Infectious Disease Control became aware of a cluster of patients with Salmonella typhimurium. Investigation has shown that 21 patients became ill from June 13 through the present; all patients are from Merrimack and Hillsborough counties. The Salmonella strains genetically match, indicating a common source of infection. Analysis of data from patient interviews and other epidemiologic investigation suggests that chicken jerky pet treats is the cause of this outbreak. Preliminary testing of the chicken jerky pet treat product by the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories at NH DHHS is positive for Salmonella; confirmatory testing is underway.

On September 9, 2013, NH DHHS requested a voluntary recall of Joey's Jerky brand Chicken Jerky due to the ongoing risk of Salmonella from this product. Joey's Jerky is produced in New Hampshire, and the manufacturer has voluntarily recalled all product. Joey's Jerky was sold online and at the following 6 stores:

  • America's Pet in Hudson,

  • Blue Seal in Bow,

  • K9 Kaos in Dover,

  • Osborne's Agway in Concord,

  • Sandy's Pet Food Center in Concord, and

  • The Yellow Dogs Barn in Barrington.

All 6 establishments have removed the product from their shelves. DHHS issued a press release requesting people to discard any remaining jerky treats.

The NH Division of Public Health Services recommends:

  • Awareness of a Salmonella typhimurium outbreak in NH.

  • Educate patients about the voluntary recall of a NH‐produced product, Joey's Jerky brand Chicken Jerky.

  • Test patients presenting with unexplained diarrheal illness for Salmonella, especially those with pet dogs or dog exposures.

  • Report suspected and confirmed cases of Salmonella to the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after hours, 1-800-852-3345 ext. 5300).

Clinical Overview

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Additional information on Salmonella from pet treats is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonelladrypetfood/.

If you or other healthcare providers have questions, please call the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 or 1-800-852-3345, extension 4496, during business hours (8:00 AM to 4:30 AM). On nights or weekends, call the New Hampshire Hospital switchboard at 1-800-852-3345, extension 5300, and request the Public Health Professional on-call.

 
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