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FEATURE NEWS

FDA & Wash. State Officials Investigate Pattern of Salmonella and Listeria Contamination In Raw Pet Food Manufactured By Wash. State Company
February 14, 2018




Raw food. Photos: FDA

Chronicle staff

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Washington Department of Agriculture is investigating what the FDA says is a pattern of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes contamination in raw pet foods manufactured by a Tukwila, Washington company.

Facts about the investigation from an FDA statement issued February 13:

The FDA is alerting pet owners to a history of four recalls of and multiple complaints associated with Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., dba Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, over the period from October 17, 2016 to February 10, 2018. In each instance, the company recalled these products after being alerted to positive findings of Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes in samples of their raw pet food products.

In its most recent recall, on February 10, 2018, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural recalled ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41957) and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41567) because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella and therefore have the potential to cause salmonellosis in humans and animals. The Tukwila, Washington company states that it only sells its products online through direct-to-consumer sales.

The FDA has investigated six complaints of illness and death in animals that have eaten the recalled products.

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has notified its customers directly of the recalls, but has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls.

The FDA says this issue is of particular public health importance because Salmonella can make both people and animals sick.

What is the problem and what's being done about it?

As part of an ongoing investigation into complaints associated with products manufactured by Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural of Tukwila, WA, the FDA has confirmed that new samples of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw pet foods have tested positive for Salmonella. These raw pet foods include ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41957 and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41567.

The latest recall was triggered by a complaint of an adult dog that had recurring diarrhea over a nine-month period. The dog tested positive for Salmonella from initial testing by the veterinarian and by follow-up testing by the FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN). The Darwin’s Natural raw pet food that the dog had been fed was also positive for Salmonella.

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural is aware of the dog's illness and the positive results and initiated a recall on February 10, 2018 by directly notifying its customers via email. The firm has not issued a public recall notice.

Since October 2016, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has initiated four recalls and had six reported complaints (some referring to more than one animal) associated with their raw pet food products, including the death of one kitten from a severe systemic Salmonella infection. The Salmonella isolated from the kitten was analyzed using whole genome sequencing and found to be indistinguishable from the Salmonella isolated from a closed package from the same lot of Darwin’s Natural cat food that the kitten ate.

In addition to reports of illnesses associated with Salmonella contamination in the products, the FDA is aware of complaints of at least three animals who were reportedly injured by bone shards in the Darwin’s Natural raw pet food products.

Since 2016, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has recalled seven raw pet food products. Details on those recalls may be found here

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural initiated each recall of the product lots by notifying customers directly via email. The company states that the raw pet foods are only sold online through direct-to-consumer sales.

This contaminated raw pet food is of particular public health importance because of the potential hazard to both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from Salmonella, but may also be carriers of the bacteria and can infect humans. Pets do not have to be apparently ill to be able to pass Salmonella onto their human companions.

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 FDA says it has a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella or other pathogenic bacteria in all pet food, meaning the agency will take action, as appropriate, against any pet food found to be contaminated with the harmful bacteria.

What do consumers need to do?

The FDA says consumers should not feed their pets recalled lots of raw pet food manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc. Consumers who purchased this raw pet food should throw it away. People who think they might have become ill or their pets may be ill from exposure to contaminated raw pet food should talk to their health care providers or veterinarians.

Consumers who had this product in their homes should clean their refrigerator and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.

Because animals can shed the bacteria when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.

The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about this and other pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

More information on this story can be found at the FDA's website here










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