COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A salmonella scare after the FDA says frozen feeder rodents used to feed snakes were carrying the bacteria.
"It's just a matter of fact of keeping everything sanitary," says Jose Pizarro, an animal caretaker. "You never want something that's been inside a rat or another animal inside your mouth."
The FDA asked Naples based Reptile Industries to recall some of its frozen feeder rodents after 18 states saw people infected with salmonella.
15 of the more than 30 cases were related to frozen rodents. Reptile Industries complied. The company had more testing done which showed their product to now be safe.
However, the FDA came back. Now it wants the company to recall all of its product from January to the present day.
"At this time, we just don't feel there's proof or evidence stating that this would be necessary," says Jamie Cassin with Repile Industries.
Labeling tells the buyer how to handle the product and warns them of diseases. The company along with Pizarro say samonilla will hardly effect the snakes since they aren't mammals. That's part of the reason why the employess at this company are surprised that the FDA keeps pushing them to recall the product, especially since the contaminated rodents have been taken away.
Cassin says, " It is not apples to apples. This is not a human consumption consumable."
If reptile industries is forced to recall a product it say's is safe, the company could lose tens of thousands of dollars.
They want to remind everyone to wash their hands often, and use the proper utensils when handling frozen feeder rodents.