May 5, 2012 in Nation/World

Tainted dog food sickens 14

Jeffrey Collins And Heather Hollingsworth Associated Press
 
History

In 2005, a toxic mold called aflatoxin ended up in food made at the same Diamond Pet Foods plant in South Carolina and dozens of dogs died. The company offered a $3.1 million settlement.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday.

At least five people have been hospitalized because of the dog food, made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Mo.-based company.

“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.

Humans can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said.

The South Carolina plant temporarily shut down April 8, and Diamond Pet Foods has issued recalls for food made at the plant.

The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild.

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