Attention pet owners: You might want to think twice about giving your pets “jerky” treats.
The Food and Drug Administration says since 2007, about 3,600 dogs and 10 cats have reportedly gotten sick after eating pet jerky treats. Five hundred and eighty of them have died. The treats are from China, but shipped worldwide.
Now, the FDA is asking for pet owners and veterinarians’ help in finding the source. The administration says it’s conducted more than 1,000 tests, visited multiple manufacturers and more, but still can’t put its finger on the problem.
One veterinary pathologist told NBC News, “I think that what it tells us is that the intoxicant is something that we’re not used to dealing with as a toxin in North America.”
The outbreak is affecting many different brands, but tends to occur most with chicken, duck, sweet potato and dried fruit jerky. Sixty percent of the pets affected have had gastrointestinal illness and 30 percent have seen kidney or urinary problems. (Via Cleveland Plain Dealer)
This most recent scare isn’t the first of its kind. The FDA has been warning against the Chinese-based pet food for a while.
Earlier this year, the FDA sent out a similar warning, telling pet owners to be wary of the treats. (Via Mother Nature Network)
“This really is very bad. The Chinese always have these food scandals. They always say it’s not going to happen again and then three months later it occurs and you’ve got all these different types of scandals. This is really a problem because they do not control their food chain.” http://www.nbcnews.com/(Via MSNBC)
“In the past year, Chinese food companies have been caught selling rat meat as lamb and selling insecticide tainted foods.” (Via WKBW)
The rapidly-developing country has been dealing with food safety concerns for years.
China Daily says, “Illegal additives, poor hygiene and unsafe materials in the manufacturing process were the major concerns of the public in 2012…” according to a study by a Chinese university.
The FDA says a decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea after pets consume the jerky treats could be a sign they’ve been infected.