TruthaboutPetFood.com has the sharpest followers! In a rush this morning to get this latest pet food recall announcement out (had a radio interview Critter Conversations at 9 AM), I didn’t read it closely. But you guys did! It is confirmed, this latest recall of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula dry dog food was made at the Meta, Missouri plant not the Gaston, SC plant (where all the other recalls originated). Plus there is another significant piece of information stated in this latest release…
A second Diamond Pet Food manufacturing plant has now had a product recalled due to Salmonella. All previous recalls were manufactured in one plant located in Gaston, South Carolina. This most recent recall, announced late Friday 5/18/12 evening, was from a second Diamond manufacturing facility in Meta, Missouri (confirmed by Deanna of Diamond Customer Service).
Will more foods made in Missouri be recalled?
I don’t know, but I would assume so. If this follows the pattern of the Gaston plant, other products made at the Missouri plant will be recalled.
What foods were made at the Missouri plant?
I don’t know. I have left a message with the media office asking what other foods are manufactured at the Missouri plant. I don’t know if they will respond.
Another little snippet of information on this latest pet food recall press release that leaves us with questions is…(bold added)
“Production Code & Best Before Date
DSL0801, 27-Sept- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, and packaged on Sept. 27)
DSL0801, 18-Oct- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, and packaged on Oct. 18)“
‘Product manufactured on August 26’ but not packaged until ‘September 27’ and ‘October 18’? How was that pet food stored?
For starters, with the last production code listed above, the pet food was made on August 26, 2011. Yet the ‘Best Before’ date on the package was listed as October 18, 2012 (the packaging date seven weeks later)? Isn’t this misleading to a consumer? Shouldn’t the ‘Best Before’ date coincide with the manufacturing date?
Next, this food was manufactured in 2011, yet is only being recalled now (due to potential Salmonella contamination). Were there no reports of sick pets related to this food during the last seven months it has been on the market?
The Diamond Customer Service Rep I spoke with this morning did not know how the product was stored after packaging. If the food was not stored in an air tight environment, that pet food was losing nutritional value over the four to seven weeks it sat around waiting to be packaged; never the less the consideration of Salmonella growing during this time frame.
I do not believe it is standard in the pet food industry to manufacture a batch of pet food and hold it before packaging. But my guess would be this is not a new trick invented by Diamond either. I’d have to guess that if a manufacturer gets a bulk of ingredients – perhaps more raw ingredients than what demand of finished pet food is – many go ahead and process the food and hold it until the need (orders) arrive. But what about the ‘best by’ date? Should the ‘best by’ date on pet foods link to the date the food was manufactured or is it linking to the date the food was packaged? Could pet owners, striving to purchase a fresh pet food, be actually buying pet food that sat around for weeks/months (in unknown conditions) before it was packaged?
I’ll be taking these questions to regulatory authorities for answers.
By the way, for anyone that has been feeding a Diamond manufactured product, Mollie Morrissette of PoisonedPets.com has published a great Q&A article on this recall with important facts for pet owners and their veterinarians. Click Here to read.
Thank you wonderful readers! Your attention to details (when I was rushed and wasn’t attending to details) is fantastic!