Food Outbreak Scan for Jun 10, 2015

Salmonella in pets
Ice cream Listeria outbreak over

FDA: Low percentage of pets harbor Salmonella

About 3% of pet dogs and cats might harbor Salmonella, many without showing symptoms, preliminary results of a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study show.

The FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), as part of a study it plans to publish by the end of next year, sampled 2,965 pet dogs and cats and found "fewer than 100" tested positive for Salmonella. That means, at most, 3.3% tested positive. The results were published yesterday as a consumer update.

"Pet owners should know, though, that almost half of the dogs that tested positive for Salmonella showed no symptoms," said Renate Reimschuessel, VMD, PhD, head of Vet-LIRN, in the FDA update. Also, the study showed that the dogs that tested positive for Salmonella were more likely to have eaten raw pet food, which has a higher risk of containing foodborne pathogens.

A dog that carries Salmonella and shows no symptoms can spread bacteria to other members of the household, which can especially be a problem for young children, older adults, or those with compromised immune systems, the FDA said.

The FDA offered recommendations for those who have pets, such as avoiding pet food in damaged packaging and washing hands after handling pet foods.
Jun 9 FDA consumer update


CDC calls Blue Bell Listeria outbreak over

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today declared that a four-state outbreak of listeriosis tied to Blue Bell ice cream that sickened at least 10 people and killed 3 to be over. Cases in the outbreak date as far back as 2010.

"This outbreak investigation is over," the CDC said in an update. "However, people could continue to get sick because recalled products may still be in people’s freezers and consumers unaware of the recalls could eat them. Institutions should not serve and retailers should not sell recalled products."

The agency did not add any cases, deaths, or states to the outbreak totals since its previous update, on Apr 21.

Blue Bell Creameries shuttered two plants in April because of the outbreak. On May 14, the company agreed on certain food-safety steps in order to resume production, a step that has not yet taken place.
Jun 10 CDC final outbreak notice
May 14 CIDRAP News scan on company steps

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