The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has issued a public advisory regarding salmonellosis linked to frozen rodents used as pet (reptile) food. The rather vaguely-worded advisory states that there have been seven reported cases of Salmonella caused by a specific strain that has been linked to frozen rodents. No details about the cases or the origin of the rodents are provided, however it presumably involves the large international Salmonella outbreak associated with Mice Direct, a mail-order rodent company. The advisory reminds people to take basic precautions when handling rodents that are used for reptile food.

Basically, the key is to consider all such frozen rodents biohazardous, and handle them accordingly. Remember to:

  • Limit contact with the rodents as much as possible.
  • Thaw them in a sealed container, preventing any contact with human food.
  • Keep them away from kitchen countertops and other food handling surfaces.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.