Decidedly Un-Adorable Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Pet Hedgehogs

We’ve heard the usual caveats to avoid salmonella — wash your hands after handling raw meat, cook your food thoroughly, etc. — but how do you ward off cuteness? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 20 outbreaks of salmonella in the last year that were all linked to pet hedgehogs. Say it ain’t so, Sonic. 

We learn something new every day, and now we can add “cute pets can make you sick to the list.” Because it’s not just hedgehogs causing trouble — the CDC says frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, lizards, chicks and ducklings can all pass salmonella to humans.

According to the Associated Press, health officials say the number of salmonella infections seem to be increasing. Out of the 20 cases last year, one person died.

Just like dealing with raw meat, the CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands after holding the cute little guys, and clean their cages and equipment outside.

And now you know. Cuteness doesn’t exempt you from spreading salmonella.

Hedgehog alert! Prickly pets can carry salmonella [Associated Press]
Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Hedgehogs [CDC.gov]