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NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. here is recalling its 25-count packages of private label Berkley & Jensen Full-Cut Pig Ears dog treats with no lot number and only the expiration advisory "BEST IF USED BY 2009" (without referring to a specific month), because they could be contaminated with salmonella, which can cause serious infections in dogs, and, if there's cross-contamination, youngsters, frail or elderly people, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
"Confirmatory testing is ongoing, but until the testing is final, consumers should immediately stop feeding the treats to their pets," the retailer said in a statement.
BJ's members who bought the treats between Jan. 1, 2006 through March 8, 2007 should stop using the product and may return the unused portion to any BJ's location for a full refund. Consumers who have any questions may contact BJ's toll-free Member Care line at 1-800-BJS-CLUB.
Salmonella could potentially spread to people handling the dog treats, particularly if they haven't thoroughly washed their hands after coming into contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to them.
Healthy people infected with salmonella often have such symptoms as fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, while infected dogs may suffer from fever, diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus, tiredness, vomiting, lack of appetite, and excessive salivation.
The situation came to light after testing revealed the potential presence of salmonella in a 25-count package of the product. So far no confirmed illnesses have been reported, but BJ's has removed the item from sales while the problem is investigated.
BJ's currently operates 172 clubs and 96 gas stations in 16 states.