The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in eight provinces. At this time, no source has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Currently, there are 34 cases of Salmonella Infantis illness in eight provinces: British Columbia (3), Alberta (6), Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (2), Ontario (16), Quebec (3) Nova Scotia (1), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between June 12 and September 20, 2015. The majority of cases (62%) are female, with an average age of 41 years. Eight people have been hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported.
Among the 9 patients with available information, 5 (56%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections.
On April 2, 2012, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food, which had been collected March 14, 2012, during routine retail testing of dry pet food. Public health investigators used PulseNet to identify recent cases of human illness with a PFGE pattern indistinguishable from Salmonella Infantis which was isolated from the unopened bag of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill. Seven of 10 (70%) ill persons interviewed reported contact with a dog in the week before becoming ill. Of 5 ill persons who could recall the type of dog food with which they had contact, 4 (80%) identified dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods that may have been produced at a single facility in South Carolina.
As part of this outbreak investigation, Ohio public health and agriculture officials collected and tested dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis was isolated from an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store. A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility has also yielded Salmonella.
Randy Phebus and I talked about contaminated pet food and the risks to pets and humans in Sept. 2008.