(Update 5/9: Solid Gold Products added http://conta.cc/IJfv9s)
How can I find out if my food is on the list? Click on the links above, the list was current as of May 10, 2012. Consumers may sign up for email notification about FDA recalls and alerts at the FDA site. Purina has one food on recall unrelated to the salmonella outbreak and there may be others. Vets encourage pet parents to check the FDA lists for previous recalls before buying a brand.
Diamond has set up a special website, www.diamondpetrecall.com, for more information. (Update 5/11 Cayman Islands now included in recall) Lot numbers are on all pet food bags. Examples of how to read the lot numbers and where to find them are shown at the end of this article.
Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST.
What do I need to know about the salmonella outbreak? The CDC reports 14 pet owners have become infected from handling dog food with salmonella including a four month old baby and a 74 year old woman. Pet parents should wash their hands after coming in contact with dry pet food or dogs who eat any of these brands. Pets who have ingested contaminated food can also make household members sick.
Consumers may want to consider never buying food from a company that has had recalls. This was not the first recall for any of these companies. Information about recalls is available from the FDA and CDC. This video presents an interesting discussion of the more than 1,000 pet food recalls since 2007. We never sell pet food from a company that has had a recall.
What are the symptoms in humans? Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever are indications of salmonella poisoning. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
What are some non-Diamond pet foods that might be good alternatives? It’s understandable that pet owners would be wary of simply replacing their Diamond product with another from a different lot. Customers who want affordable alternatives to Chicken Soup or Taste of the Wild might consider Life’s Abundance, Earthborn or Fromm brands. They are of comparable price. In 14 years of business, Life’s Abundance has never been recalled and has numerous safety measures in place beyond those required by the government.
While some dog foods proudly fly American flags on their packaging or tout that they are “made in America”, that doesn’t mean the ingredients are all sourced in the U.S. It means they are assembled in the U.S. This expanding recall is yet another example of why it makes sense to get dog food from a company that has tighter quality control methods in place and has never had recalls, voluntary or FDA. Companies like Life’s Abundance make food from higher grade, US ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control. And having the food on autoship means if there ever is a problem, the batches can be tracked quickly to avoid serious problems.
Clients at Central Bark, an Oakland Park, Florida doggie day care facility that also sells products, have been asking more questions about what’s in the food they are buying and where it comes from since the recalls, manager Lyndsi Amirto said.
Central Bark carries only food made in small U.S. plants, she said, “because we believe the small mom-and-pop companies have better control of the processing and the ingredients.”
What cat food is effected? (Update May 11, 2012) - Nestlé Purina PetCare (NPP) is recalling one specific lot of its Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management canned cat food, sold by veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada. Analytical testing of the product sample by FDA indicated a low level of thiamine (Vitamin B1). Cats fed this affected lot exclusively for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature.
|“Best By” Date &
|Purina Veterinary Diets® OM
(Overweight Management) Feline Formula
|5.5 oz.||JUN 2013 11721159||38100 – 13810|
In the Diamond recall, according to a press release from Costco and Diamond, the only cat food brand listed in the recall appears to be Costco’s brand Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula as well as Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula.
What are symptoms of salmonella infection in dogs and cats? Initial symptoms include:
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
If your pet has consumed dry food from one of the tainted lots and has symptoms of salmonella infection, please contact your veterinarian.
If salmonella is left untreated, dogs may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
I’ve heard this recall is no big deal because dogs and cats can’t get sick from salmonella.
It is partially true that dogs and cats are less susceptible to the bacteria than humans, but puppies and kittens are at greater risk, as are older and animals with compromised health–including problems like allergies, stress, or disease. And while no reports of deaths are confirmed, the process of confirming a death is complicated by factors like people not having the receipt or pet food bags. Many people, including myself, put kibble in a container after purchase and throw out the bag.
Dogs and cats have anal shedding which exposes anyone in your home. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
My vet recommended throwing away all products from companies on the recall list and using only pet food and treats from companies with high quality controls and no recalls, voluntary or FDA.
How did the recall begin? The current recall is linked to a strain of Salmonella has been traced back to a single Diamond Pet Foods manufacturing facility in South Carolina. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), on March 14, 2012, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected routine dry pet food for testing. On April 2, 2012, the tests detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food.
Officials were able to link the strain to several cases of human illness. They interviewed people, and of the initial ten people they talked to, seven had reported contact with a dog in the previous week. Of the five who could remember the brand of dog food they had used, four reported Diamond Pet Food.
With that lead, public health and agriculture officials collected and tested dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods; they isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis to “an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store. A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility has also yielded Salmonella.
According to the CDC as of May 5, fourteen people from nine states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis: Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).
Of the fourteen reported cases so far, five people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. The recall does affect Canada.
Specific Recall Details. The recall affects products manufactured in a Gaston, S.C. facility between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 and distributed in 39 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada under multiple brand names. Daily updated information about lot numbers is available on the websites of the specific brands listed above and on the Diamond site http://diamondpetrecall.com/.
To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production code on their bag. If the code has a “2” or “3” in the 9th position AND an “X” in the 10th or 11th position, the product is affected by the recall. The best-before dates for the recalled products are December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.The following graphic illustrates how to read the production code and best-before date:
The Kirkland Signature products included in the recall include:
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production code on their bag. If the code has both a “3” in the 9th position AND an “X” in the 11th position, the product is affected by the recall. The best-before dates for the recalled products are December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013.The following graphic illustrates how to read the production code and best-before date:
–Dana G. Mayer, Animal Wellness Advocate, Fifi and Fido: Where Holistic Nutrition is Key For Your Pet