So far 14 people in nine states have been sickened by contaminated dog food made by Diamond Pet Foods in its Gaston, S.C. plant. The pet food had been on recall due to contamination by salmonella.
It is the same plant that years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday. The CDC and the FDA are investigation Diamond Pet Foods and the plant.
The connection was made when it was discovered that those sickened had all handled Diamond dry dog food, at least five have been hospitalized. "People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods," said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.
Three people were infected in both Missouri and North Carolina; two people in Ohio; and one person each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the CDC said.
Diamond Pet Foods said they are "committed to producing safe and healthy premium dog food", and have reopened the plant following its temporary closure.
It was this same plant in 2005 that was responsible for a toxic mold called aflatoxin that contaminated dog food where dozens of dogs died. The company had offered a $3.1 million settlement to the dog owners of the deceased dogs.
This most recent contamination was first discovered in Michigan during a routine inspection by state health officials. Michigan is one of only a few states that have a pet food testing program.
In all, the recall covers dog food sold under several brand names including; Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild.