Smoked pigs ears, a popular treat for dogs, may be carrying drug-resistant salmonella bacteria and should be considered unsafe for both dogs and their owners, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration.
In a joint statement, the two agencies called on stores to stop selling the pigs ears and owners to stop buying them.
Existing supplies should be kept securely away from children and pets. People who handle them should wash carefully with soap and warm water.
There have been 127 reported cases of salmonella infection in 33 states, with 46 hospitalizations, the agencies reported. There have been no reported deaths, but 24 of the illnesses have affected children under 5.
Salmonella infection can lead to serious gastrointestinal illness. The strains carried by the pigs ears are multiple drug resistant, meaning they may not respond to antibiotic treatment.
Both dogs and their owners are susceptible, according to the warning. Dog owners and children can get sick handling a sick dog even if the dog shows no symptoms, according to the CDC and FDA.
No local veterinarians contacted by the Independent were willing to discuss the topic.