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Red Book Online Outbreaks: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dry Dog Food

January 11, 2024


As of January 10, 2024, this outbreak is over.

As of  November 9, 2023, a total of 7 people have been infected in a multistate outbreak of Salmonella illnesses linked to dry dog food  (Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dry Dog Food | CDC). Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 14, 2023 to August 19, 2023.  Six of the 7 people in this outbreak are infants. One person was hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

On November 9, 2023, Mid America Pet Food expanded its voluntary recall to include additional pet food products. Specific expiration dates and UPC codes and product photos for involved products are listed on CDC and FDA outbreak pages.

Clinical Guidance

  • Presentation: Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms typically start 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days.
  • Who is at highest risk/complications: The incidence of Salmonella infection is highest in children younger than 4 years of age. In the United States, rates of invasive infections and mortality are higher in infants, elderly people, and people with hemoglobinopathies (including sickle cell disease) and immunocompromising conditions (eg, malignant neoplasms, HIV infection).
  • Patients should be seen by their pediatrician if they present with the following symptoms of Salmonella infection:
    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
    • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Not tolerating oral liquids
    • Signs of dehydration, such as:
      • Decreased urine output
      • Dry mucous membranes
      • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Diagnosis: Isolation of Salmonella organisms from cultures of stool, blood, urine, bile (including duodenal fluid containing bile), and material from foci of infection is diagnostic. Salmonella gastroenteritis is diagnosed by stool culture or molecular testing (including PCR); stool testing should be obtained in all children with bloody diarrhea or unexplained persistent or severe diarrhea. See Red Book Salmonella diagnostic tests.
  • Risk Mitigation: People in this outbreak got sick from touching recalled dog food, touching things like dog bowls that contained the dog food, or touching the feces or saliva of dogs that were fed the dog food.  What pet owners should do:
    • Throw away recalled pet food in a sealed trash bag and place it in a sealed trash can so that wildlife cannot get to it.
      • Children should not touch the recalled pet food.
      • Recalled pet food should not be donated or fed to pets or other animals.
    • Clean surfaces and items, including pet items like bowls, that might have touched the recalled pet food.
  • Treatment: Antimicrobial therapy usually is not indicated for patients with either asymptomatic infection or uncomplicated gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella, because therapy does not shorten the duration of diarrheal disease, can prolong duration of fecal shedding, and increases symptomatic relapse rate. Antimicrobial therapy is recommended for gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella in people at increased risk for invasive disease, including infants younger than 3 months and people with chronic gastrointestinal tract disease, malignant neoplasms, hemoglobinopathies, HIV infection, or other immunosuppressive illnesses or therapies. Antibiotics should also be considered for those experiencing severe symptoms such as severe diarrhea or prolonged or high fever. If antimicrobial therapy is initiated in patients in the United States with presumed or proven Salmonella gastroenteritis, a blood and a stool culture should be obtained prior to antibiotic administration. Most cases of Salmonella gastroenteritis are treated empirically. If the person appears ill or has evidence of disseminated infection, hospitalization along with initiation of a broad-spectrum parenteral cephalosporin often is prescribed. Oral antimicrobials, such as azithromycin, may be considered for patients who do not appear ill or have evidence of disseminated infection. If cultures are obtained, definitive therapy should be based on the susceptibility of the organism isolated.
  • Reporting: Suspected cases should be reported to the local department of public health.


Pediatric Practice Tools and Information

Salmonella | CDC


Public Health Resources

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dry Dog Food | CDC


Infection Prevention and Control Resources

Project Firstline (


Information for Patients and Caregivers

AAP Salmonella Infections in Children | In Spanish: Infecciones por Salmonela en niños

AAP Food Poisoning & Contamination | In Spanish: Intoxicación y contaminación alimentaria

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