(WXYZ) — Two retailers have removed pig ear pet treats from their shelves after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found that the pig ears, which are sold in bulk at Michigan stores, may be contaminated with salmonella. The department issued a consumer advisory for all of the treats sold in bulk in Michigan.
Samples of the treats from those two retailers tested positive for salmonella at an MDARD lab. Samples of bagged and individually wrapped pig ears from other retail stores, however, tested negative for the bacteria. MDARD warns that people who have bought pig ears in bulk should avoid giving them to their pets and consider throwing them away.
“It’s not clear why some brands of pig ears have tested positive for Salmonella and others have not. Pet owners should consider the possibility of Salmonella contaminating pig ear products before feeding them to their pets," said Jeffrey Zimmer, director of MDARD's pesticide and plant post management division.
Animals who have contracted the bacteria can spread it to people and other animals in their home.
The animals can emit salmonella through saliva and feces. While some infected pets may have observable symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, vomiting and general lethargy, some infected pets may not show symptoms. Other symptoms include a decreased appetite of and abdominal pain.
Pet owners should wash their hands after having contact with the treats, Zimmer said. They should also reach out to a veterinarian if they think their pet may be infected.
The department is investigating the issue with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.