Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2006-2008 Mulstistate Outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund Infections Linked to Pet Food

Seventy-nine cases of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infections were reported by 21 states beginning in 2006. Case control studies revealed that case-households were significantly more likely than control households to report dog contact (matched odds ratio: 3.6) and to have recently purchased Mars Petcare brands of dry dog food (Matched odds ratio: 6.9). The outbreak strain was isolated from opened bags of dry dog food produced at the Mars plant, fecal specimens from dogs that ate Mars Petcare dry food, and in unopened bags of dog and cat foods. More than 23,000 tons of pet foods were recalled. Despite a pet food recall in 2007, cases continued to be reported through October, 2008. The outbreak had persisted over a three year period, likely because of continued contamination in the pet food production facility and the long shelf life of the products. This outbreak was the first documented outbreak to associate human Salmonella infections with contaminated pet food and to trace human illness to a contaminated pet food plant and resulted in permanent closure of the production facility. The original source of the contamination was never determined. No illness was reported from pets.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 2006
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Pet Food
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE] pattern JM6X01.0015
  • Location(s):
  • Many
  • Brand Name(s):
  • See recall links.
  • Total ill:
  • 79
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 79
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 12
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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