CDC Links Diamond Pet Food to Human Salmonella Outbreak
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports numerous varieties of pet foods manufactured at the Gaston, SC Diamond Pet Food facility have been linked to fourteen human Salmonella infections in nine states. Five people were hospitalized.
From the CDC website: “Multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections.”
“A total of 14 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported from 9 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).”
“On April 2, 2012, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food, which had been collected March 14, 2012, during routine retail testing of dry pet food. Public health investigators used PulseNet to identify recent cases of human illness with a PFGE pattern indistinguishable from Salmonella Infantis which was isolated from the unopened bag of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods. In interviews, ill persons answered questions about contact with animals and foods consumed during the week before becoming ill. Seven of 10 (70%) ill persons interviewed reported contact with a dog in the week before becoming ill. Of 5 ill persons who could recall the type of dog food with which they had contact, 4 (80%) identified dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods that may have been produced at a single facility in South Carolina.”
Diamond Pet Food is no longer responding to my questions, they stopped responding when questions were sent to them regarding reports that Diamond was removing product from a distribution center. All emails and phone calls have gone without response since (and this is after the media rep went on and on about how Diamond wants to build a relationship with TruthaboutPetFood.com). If Diamond was responding, I would like to ask them about this part of the CDC report…
“Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began between October 8, 2011 and April 22, 2012.”
Human illness, now linked to the Diamond manufactured pet foods began in October, 2011. Yet the recall – voluntary recall – did not occur until April, 2012; five months later. Did Diamond receive reports of sick pets with symptoms of salmonella in 2011?
The Diamond Pet Food website states they are committed to 151 checks during the processing of pet foods. “141 ingredient tests, 10 final product checks, Zero Compromises.” Was Salmonella testing was part of the 151 checks? “Diamond is audited regularly by a highly respected independent laboratory for food safety, quality and palatability.” Did the highly respected independent laboratory that regularly audited Diamond include tests for Salmonella?
From the CDC report, the Michigan Department of Agriculture detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice dry dog food on April 2, 2012. We can assume that from the Michigan Dept of Ag testing, Diamond was notified of the positive Salmonella testing the same day – April 2, 2012.
Four days later, April 6, 2012, Diamond announced the first of three recalls; Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice. The one food that Michigan tested and found positive for Salmonella.
As part of this outbreak investigation, Ohio public health and agriculture officials collected and tested Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula from a person who became ill. Ohio found the food tested positive for Salmonella. The next voluntary recall…Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula.
And it continues… 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. On April 30, 2012 Diamond voluntarily recalled Diamond Puppy Formula.
Though there is NO confirmation of this, it appears each recall was ‘volunteered’ when regulatory officials provided Diamond with positive Salmonella test results.
If you read closely what is stated on each of the Diamond Recall press releases, you’ll see some clues to what they knew and didn’t fully explain…
April 6th “No illnesses have been reported…”
April 26th “No dog illnesses have been reported.” (This was the food tested taken from the home of a sick pet owner.)
April 30th “No dog illnesses have been reported.”
Fourteen people have become sick, linked to the Diamond manufactured pet food…but no dog illnesses have been reported. Are we to believe Diamond has not received one complaint from dog owners?
I have emailed and talked with many pet owners who did report sick pets (some died) to Diamond.
I guess it boils down to, some pet food manufacturers have a different understanding of ‘voluntary’ than we do. We look at a voluntary recall as the pet food manufacturer wanting to save lives when they receive reports from pet owners of sick pets believed to be related to a food. Some of them look at a voluntary recall as we have no choice, the feds have test results. (I say ‘some of them’ because I believe there is a huge difference between Big Pet Food and many small manufacturers.)
What a shame.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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