Pig ears sold in Michigan may have Salmonella

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - State officials issued a statewide advisory Wednesday for pig ear pet treats sold in bulk across Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development worries that the treats are contaminated with Salmonella. The department did not identify a specific brand, but rather said the advisory is for pig ears sold in bulk "at retailers statewide."

The advisory is not a recall, but rather a warning that pet owners may consider throwing away the treats instead of feeding them to their pets.

The department says lab samples from two retailers in Michigan tested positive for Salmonella, but it did not name the retailers.

"It’s not clear why some brands of pig ears have tested positive for Salmonella and others have not," said department official Jeffrey Zimmer. "Pet owners should consider the possibility of Salmonella contaminating pig ear products before feeding them to their pets. As an added precaution, pet owners should wash their hands after handling pig ears."

The department is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of Salmonella in pets include lethargic behavior, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. The disease is spread through feces and saliva, and it can be transmitted to animals and humans.

If you think your pet may be infected, contact a veterinarian.

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