Heads up, hedgehog owners: A food for this small animal is facing a recall over concerns it is contaminated with salmonella, according to a recall notice recently posted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.
Ohio-based Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc. issued a voluntary recall of a single lot of its Vitakraft Vita Smart Hedgehog Food over concerns the lot has been contaminated with the salmonella, a bacteria that can cause illness in both humans and animals alike.
According to the FDA notice, the company was contacted about the possible contamination after the Michigan Department of Agriculture inspected a sample of the product and found that the bacteria was present.
“The tests which discovered the bacteria were part of random testing performed by the State of Michigan on consumer products, and not prompted by any consumer concerns,” per the recall notice.
No illnesses have been reported to date, however.
Lot Number 343422 is affected. The product bears UPC 0-51233-34792-9 and has an expiration date of Nov. 6, 2022.
“Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian,” per the recall notice.
Additionally, “there is [a] risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products,” officials warn.
In humans, symptoms of salmonella usually develop 1 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, with most people developing diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment, according to the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized," according to the CDC. "Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body."
Federal health officials say that children younger than 5 years of age, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
“Retailers and distributors who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves. Consumers who have purchased a product from the recalled lot should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund,” per the recall notice.
Customers who have further questions regarding the recall can contact the company at 1-800-221-6175, extension 123.