CDC issues warning following new Salmonella outbreak in pet water frogs

Sep 01, 2011

ATLANTA, GA. — Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning consumers and veterinarians to be cautious about buying African dwarf frogs from a California breeding facility.

Frogs from Blue Lobster Farms in Madera County, Calif., are believed to be the primary source of a 42-state Salmonella typhimurium outbreak dating back to April 2009 that sickened 241 people, CDC says. No deaths have been reported, but 71 percent of those sickened with the outbreak strain reported handling African dwarf frogs before becoming ill.

Blue Lobster Farm voluntarily stopped shipping the African dwarf frogs, a type of water frog, in late April. The California Department of Public Health sent a letter to the direct customers of the breeder in May, recommending they discontinue sale of the frogs and decontaminate the tanks in which they were kept. Blue Lobster Farms resumed sales of the frogs in early June, and they can be found for sale at pet stores, educational stores, toy stores, carnivals, fairs, from online retailers and others.

Veterinarians are also being asked to help educate clients about the proper handling of water frogs, as well as how to properly clean their habitat.