The Occurrence of Health Damage to Pets by Salmonella Contaminated Pet Food

Post date:2019.09.10

In our website, we have alerted the health damage to pets caused by their treats through introducing our report ( on March 11, 2019 and publishing the article “Isolation of Salmonella spp. from Treat for Dogs” (  on June 13, 2019.

This time, Salmonella spp. was detected in the pet food (treat) for dogs and cats, which was sold by Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union (Tokyo), and the relationship between the bacterial contamination and the death of 14 dogs is suspected. On April 15, 2019, the company reported that 68 pets had experienced symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, melena, and death. The product is dried chicken tender, and 47222 of these products have been sold since 2018.

According to the survey, detected bacteria were Salmonella O7 group. This group was also reported in human cases of food poisoning and nosocomial infection. One survey about Salmonella spp. said that 12% of S. Infantis, 4.9% of S. Thompson and 2.1% of S. Bareilly, which belong to O7 group respectively, were isolated from humans. The health damage to pet owners handling this product is also concerned because S. Infantis is the most isolated serovar from chicken.

For this case, the cause seems not to be identified yet. However, Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union fixed additional shipping standard for pet food of which heating temperature is less than 100℃. In the new standard, the products subjected to examination need to be determined negative of coliform bacteria and Salmonella spp. in each lot.

Pet food is making remarkable progress and the products which correspond to human medical food have been developed in recent years, while low quality food is also distributed. In March 2007, many dogs and cats died due to the pet food including hazardous substance and melamine in U.S.A. Then, in Japan, the Law for Ensuring the Safety of Pet Food was established in May 2008 ( on Article 5, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has required compliance of the Standard for Methods of Manufacturing of Pet Food. However, this case has occurred because the notification was not kept. Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union shows the policy strengthening its self-regulation, learning a lesson from this case. We would like to keep a close eye on its actions for the future.