Stay Safe! Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Raw Turkey Dog Foods

Funny photo of a bad dog with paws on kitchen counter looking at a roasted chicken with big excited eyes

(Picture Credit: adogslifephoto/Getty Images)

Turkey takes the spotlight in the most recent salmonella outbreak. The latest development ties raw turkey products, including pet food, to potential sources of infection. Dogs who eat these products may be at risk for exposure.

Pet food brands have started recalling their products as more people report salmonella infections. The outbreak first surfaced in late 2017, and the most recent infection appeared in January of 2019. Some of the latest cases included two children.

While some of the contaminated products are pet food meant for dogs, reports emphasize that humans are at risk, too, when they handle and come into contact with these food items.

A notice from the Food and Drug Administration reads: “There is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.”

CDC Unsure Of Which Brands Are Contaminated

The infection count has only increased since the outbreak began. What’s worse is that the salmonella infections are resistant to multiple drugs, thus patients need constant and focused monitoring.

Up to 279 people have been infected as of February 13th, 2019.

“Ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Four ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets,” said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in a report.

Worse is that the CDC has not yet pinpointed a single or common supplier for the raw turkey products. The only warning given is that the outbreak may be present in different facilities and suppliers, hence the possibility of the strain being present in multiple brands.

Arm Yourself And Your Dog Against Salmonella

It’s best to be aware of the symptoms of salmonella poisoning. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, which are experienced 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

Always handle raw turkey with care, since it can spread germs during prep time. Thoroughly wash your hands and any surfaces or utensils the turkey touches. If your dog’s food bowl has touched raw turkey, wash that, as well.

One solution for serving turkey safely is to thoroughly cook it. Cook the raw turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the germs. If there are leftovers, reheat them to the same temperature when you serve them.

It may be best to avoid feeding your dog a raw turkey diet for now. Salmonella can make your pets sick, and by extension, when handling raw pet food with turkey, you can get sick because of the bacteria, too.

While dogs are fairly resistant to salmonella infection, dogs who are younger, older, or have weakened immune systems may be at higher risk.

If you think your dog ingested raw turkey, watch out for symptoms like diarrhea with blood or mucus, tiredness, vomiting, fever, or depression.

If your dog shows these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately. Salmonella is not uncommon or often fatal to dogs, but more serious cases could lead to worse symptoms that may require hospitalization.

Are you and your dog protected from salmonella brought on by raw turkey? What other steps are you taking to keep your pup safe? Let us know in the comments below!