The CDC Warns That Just Touching Contaminated Pig Ear Dog Treats Can Make Humans Sick

Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images
Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images

Following concerns this week about a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella tied to pig ear dog treats, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have passed along further clarification. Because the agencies cannot link the outbreak to any one supplier, they advise not to buy or feed any pig ear treats to animals. Just as importantly, they caution humans shouldn’t even be touching them.

According to the CDC, a total of 127 human cases of Salmonella poisoning reported in 33 states have been linked to the dog treats, which are typically dehydrated and intact pig ears—though they may also come from other parts of a swine—that often have added flavoring. By chewing on or consuming the ears, animals can contract Salmonella, the bacteria that causes foodborne illness and prompts symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and fever and sometimes requires hospitalization. In pets, symptoms may also include bloody diarrhea and fatigue.

A dog enjoys a pig ear dog treat
Rosalie, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The CDC and FDA are telling consumers to avoid touching these pig ears altogether because Salmonella can easily be passed from their surface to human hands. If hands are not washed, the bacteria can spread to other surfaces or to a person’s mouth, causing infection. A dog who has just consumed Salmonella and then licks someone’s face or open wound can also pass along the bacteria.

The CDC has examined treats from a variety of suppliers, including some that claim to have been irradiated to kill bacteria. They have yet to isolate the outbreak to a single source. All pig ear treats, regardless of brand, should be discarded and surfaces or containers they’ve touched should be washed with soap and water.

[h/t CNN]

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

Whirlpool Just Recalled More Than 26,000 Glass Cooktops for Turning On By Themselves

Cunaplus_M.Faba/iStock via Getty Images
Cunaplus_M.Faba/iStock via Getty Images

After receiving 133 reports of glass cooktops turning on by themselves, Whirlpool has recalled more than 26,000 of the appliances.

CBS Sacramento reports that the cooktops in question are both radiant and downdraft radiant models with glass cooking surfaces and touch controls, and they were all sold between March 2017 and August 2019, for $1150 to $2500. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the appliances bear the brand names Whirlpool, KitchenAid, or JennAir (the Whirlpool Corporation owns KitchenAid and JennAir) and were sold in home improvement and appliance stores, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy, both in person and online.

In other words, if you have a glass cooktop, it’s probably worth checking the model number and serial number, which should be printed on the underside of the appliance. Enter the numbers into Whirlpool’s online form to determine if yours was recalled. If it was, Whirlpool will install a new one free of charge. In the meantime, the CPSC advises that you turn off the unit at the circuit breaker when you’re not using it, and don’t leave flammable objects or empty cookware on or around the area.

Thankfully, the faulty cooktops haven’t gravely injured anybody, but they have caused a fair amount of damage. There have been 14 reports of heat damage to nearby items, four reports of fire, and one report of property damage, and two people have sustained minor burn injuries.

It’s not the only device that’s recently been recalled due to fire safety risks. Earlier this month, Apple issued a recall of more than 460,000 MacBook Pro batteries. Find out how to check if yours was affected here.

[h/t CBS Sacramento]

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