According to the CDC, dry pet food and cross-contamination after feeding a pet in the kitchen is responsible for salmonellosis outbreak in 21 eastern U.S. states between 2006 and 2008. The outbreak sickened 79 people, with almost 48 percent of the cases occurring among children under age 2, according to Casey Barton Behravesh, CDC veterinary epidemiologist and study’s coauthor.

"This investigation resulted in identification of the first documented outbreak of human salmonellosis linked to the use of dry dog and cat food," Behravesh wrote.

"This outbreak really raises concerns for us that dry pet foods might be an unrecognized source of illness, especially for children," Behravesh said.

As the salmonella can transmit from pet food to humans easily, Behravesh sai. Children don’t have to put pet foods in their mouths to become ill.