complaints of illnesses, test findings, and measures taken by the agency to identify the cause of the illnesses and deaths.
Reported cases have been on the decline in recent years. Since FDA’s last update in September 2014 and through the end of 2015, there have been 200 reports received. During the previous period (from the update in May 2014 to September 2014) 270 cases were reported to FDA.
Since the investigation began in 2007 through December 31, 2015, FDA has received approximately 5,200 complaints of illness associated with consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, most of which involve products imported from China.
During the investigation, FDA detected antimicrobial and antiviral residues in an imported duck jerky product and added duck jerky products to the testing methodology in 2015.
The agency continues to caution pet owners that jerky pet treats are not required for a balanced diet, and encourage them to consult with their veterinarians if they notice symptoms in their pets, such as:
- decreased appetite
- decreased activity
- diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus)
- increased water consumption and/or increased urination
- chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips)
- sweet potato
- treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, yams, or rawhide