4 dog food companies issue recall over salmonella fears
Four pet food companies issued recalls after reports surfaced about contamination by salmonella after reports of pets dying or becoming ill.
The recalls involve a variety of products, all surfacing in the last week after six pets died or were sickened. One was a kitten, but the types of the other pets was not disclosed. Also, two children became ill, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The six animal cases were connected to consumption of Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance of Tukwila, Wash., which has issued four salmonella- or listeria monocytogenes-related recalls since October 2016. The most recent was on Saturday after testing found salmonella in samples of their raw pet food.
The two reports of human illness resulted from contact with Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Pet Food. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture found salmonella while testing products made by the Minneapolis-based company.
Redbarn Pet Products of Long Beach, Calif., recalled its three-packs of seven-inch Bully Sticks dog chews after the Colorado Department of Agriculture reported that one sample collected from a store revealed salmonella.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture also prompted the recall of Smokehouse Pet Products’ four-ounce bags of Beefy Munchies dog treats after it found salmonella in two packages manufactured by the Sun Valley, Calif., company
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Human symptoms of a salmonella infection are diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, which last up to week and the majority of people recover without treatment, the FDA said. But pets don’t always have symptoms, which for them include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. Plus, they can pass salmonella to people even if they are asymptomatic.
The FDA said it has a zero-tolerance policy for salmonella or other harmful bacteria in pet food.
“Raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain salmonella and listeria monocytogenes. Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products,” the federal agency said.
Don Schaffner, a professor of food microbiology at Rutgers University, explained that salmonella can be found in the intestinal tracts of animals used to make pet food, like poultry and cattle. If the pet food isn’t cooked, the bacteria can survive the manufacturing process and make it into the final products.
“Even a single cell is enough to make an animal or a human sick,” he said.
Here are the details of the four recalls:
ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs lot 41957 and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs lot 41567 were sold online.
The recall this week was prompted by a complaint about an adult dog with recurring diarrhea for nine months that tested positive for salmonella. The Darwin’s Natural raw pet food he’d eaten also tested positive.
According to the FDA, the manufacturer e-mailed customers about the recall, but “has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls.”
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