(CNN) — Could the treats you’re feeding your dog be making you or your family sick? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says yes.
The CDC reported Wednesday that it and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of salmonella across 13 states — and it’s been linked to contact with pig ear dog treats.
Forty-five people across California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin have been infected. Twelve have been hospitalized.
In CDC interviews with 38 of those infected, 34 said they had been in contact with a dog before getting sick. Separately, 17 people of 24 interviewed reported contact with pig ear dog treats or dogs fed those treats.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development sampled the pig ears for salmonella. They have identified some strains in the treats, but it is unclear whether those are the same strains causing the infection.
The CDC recommends that people always wash hands when handling pet food or treats, store pet food away from human food, and never let pets lick mouths, faces or open wounds.