Hartz Mountain Corporation has voluntarily recalled one lot of its chicken-basted rawhide chews for dogs because of potential contamination with Salmonella

Rawhide treats, as the name suggests, are raw treats that  are literally made from the hide of typically cattle or pigs. The finding of Salmonella in rawhide treats is not particularly surprising, since Salmonella is commonly found in raw meat products, especially chicken.  In this case it is not known exactly how the product may have become contaminated. High rates of contamination of raw pet treats have been reported, although a recent study reported improvement in products in Canada.  This has likely occured because of action from the industry in response to outbreaks of disease in people that originated with treats. It’s important to remember that any raw animal-based product that has not been treated (e.g. irradiated) to get rid of bacteria could contain harmful pathogens like Salmonella. They are best avoided, especially if high risk individuals (e.g. very young children, elderly persons or anyone with a weakened immune system) might come in contact with the treats or the pet to which the treats are fed. If you do decide to feed your pet raw animal-derived treats, care should be taken to reduce the risks of transmitting pathogens like Salmonella, as is recommended with raw meat diets. More information about raw meat feeding and Salmonella in pets can be found on the Worms & Germs Resources page.