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FDA warns against deadly pet treats

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking the help of the nation’s veterinarians to try to figure out the link between jerky-style pet treats and reports of more than 580 pet deaths and thousands of illnesses.

“For the last few years, the FDA has been actively investigating the cause of reported pet illnesses associated with jerky pet treat products, most of which come from China,” according to the letter dated Tuesday, Oct. 22. “As of September 24, 2013, FDA has received approximately 3,000 reports of illness … including more than 580 deaths.”

The federal agency asks vets to provide samples and information on potential jerky pet treat-related illnesses to its Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network and to provide their customers/pet owners with a fact sheet advising of potential danger.

The fact sheet, and other updates about the FDA’s investigation into the jerky treats, are available at this FDA Jerky Pet Treats page at

The developments in the jerky pet treats investigation follows the announcement just over two months ago by Procter & Gamble and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recalling multiple lots of dry dog food and cat food sold under the Iams and Eukanuba brands because of potential contamination from Salmonella. The FDA said pet owners were at risk if they handled contaminated dog or cat food or touched any surfaces exposed to the food and did not wash their hands thoroughly. In contrast to the current jerky investigation, however, no Salmonella-related illnesses had been reported in association with the recalled dog and cat food.

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