Procter & Gamble has recalled close to 30 varieties of dry pet food under the Iams and Eukanuba brands due to potential Salmonella contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that pups and cats aren't the only ones at risk. Humans can fall sick from the product if they don't wash their hands thoroughly or clean surfaces exposed to the tainted food.
Photos of the affected products are available here.
Procter & Gamble issued a voluntary recall after it discovered the Salmonella contamination during routine testing. Only dry food products in specific lots distributed in the United States during a 10-day period are affected, according to the FDA.
Salmonella can directly affect both pets and their human owners handling contaminated products, resulting in similar symptoms for both the animals and humans, including fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
While the illness typically passes within a week, there are often severe cases of the infection that require antibiotic treatments. In these more critical instances, improper treatment can result in death, especially for infants, those with impaired immune systems, and the elderly.
Salmonella can also lead to more serious illnesses, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and issues with the urinary tract.
Thus far, no Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported. But if injuries surface in the coming weeks, they may be entitled to recall remedies.
Several parties can potentially be held liable for causing injuries. For example, anyone in the chain of production and distribution -- including the merchant who sold the product to the consumer -- can be named in a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. In this case, that may include Procter & Gamble, retailers, and the processor of the food.
Pet owners who have purchased one of the recalled products should throw it out and contact P&G at (800) 208-0172 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time), or online at www.iams.com or www.eukanuba.com.
If you or your pet has been sickened by the tainted pet food, an experienced products liability lawyer can help you figure out your legal options.