The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of "Best By 111911" because the product may be contaminated with salmonella.
The pet treats were distributed nationwide through retail stores and Internet sales.
Although no illnesses have been reported from the dog food, the FDA is advising consumers not to handle or feed them to their pets.
In December routine testing of Merrick Beef Filet Squares detected a positive finding for salmonella. A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes.
Salmonella can affect humans and animals and people handling dry pet treats can become infected with salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.
Pets with salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Healthy-appearing, but infected, pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected product or is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
The affected Merrick Beef Filet Squares were packaged in a 10-ounce green, red and tan re-sealable plastic bag. The "best by" date is imprinted on the top portion of the bag, which is torn off when the bag is opened. The FDA recommends that consumers who are unable to determine the "best by" date discontinue use of the product.SSSS