Once again salmonella is in the headlines as tainted pet food is posing a threat to both animals and their owners.
Every year there are recalls of pet food, often due to the danger of salmonella contamination.
Within the last couple of weeks several pet food brands have issued recalls, all for dry pet foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in South Carolina. Sampling of the product revealed the presence of salmonella.
The risk is not just for pets; the illness has affected more than a dozen people in nine states, from Alabama to Michigan to New Jersey.
Brands of both dog and cat food are part of the voluntary recall including Diamond, Natural Balance, Country Value and WellPet. A complete list is available on the website DiamondPetRecall.com.
Food contaminated with salmonella may cause digestive problems in animals that can range from mild to severe.
There is also a risk to people who may handle the contaminated pet food and then fail to wash their hands, or surfaces which may have come in contact with the tainted food.
The Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for protecting your pet from recalled products.
First, you can check online frequently to learn of any new recalls that might affect your pet. If you find your animal's food or treats on the recall list, stop using that product immediately.
In some instances you may be able to return it to the store for a refund. If you dispose of it, do so in such a way that protects your own pet or other animals from finding it and eating it.
And if you suspect that your pet has eaten contaminated food, even if it has no symptoms call your veterinarian right away.
So what should a conscientious owner feed a pet?
It is almost impossible to protect your pet from harmful pet foods. But you can help to reduce the risk by choosing a high quality pet food that is formulated to keep your pet healthy - and watch the recall list.
You can go online to www.fda.gov to see all the latest alerts and recalls, especially now when new recalls seem to be added daily.
Protecting your best friend is just one more way to show you care, when you're speaking of pets.