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October 4, 1999

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Issues Warning About Contaminated Pet Chews

Washington, DC (SafetyAlerts) - The Food and Drug Administration has issued a nationwide public health warning alerting consumers about a number of recent cases in Canada of human illnesses apparently related to contact with dog chew products made from pork or beef-derived materials (e.g., pigs ears, beef jerky treats, smoked hooves, pigs skins, etc.).

These products may pose a risk of bacterial infection such as Salmonella infantis which can cause flu-like symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea) in normally healthy people, but may cause far more serious - even life-threatening injury in immune-compromised patients.

FDA is urging pet owners who have these products to handle them carefully. Anyone who comes in contact with these treats should wash their hands with hot water and soap. Elderly people, young children, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from exposure and should avoid any contact with these chews.

Initial reports of illnesses came from Canada and involved Canadian products, but subsequent examination of similar products produced in the U.S. indicate that all pet chew products of this type may pose a risk.

FDA is working with other U.S. and Canadian health authorities on this issue and has issued an import bulletin on products that have been directly linked to illnesses. The import bulletin focuses FDA’s attention on imported pig ears at ports of entry for possible sampling and analysis.

FDA is also examining the manufacturing processes for products containing pig ears to determine how this product, and similar products, can be made safely.



The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.