FDA issued a caution statement today (3/26/19) regarding Darwin’s Pet Food.
March 26, 2019
- The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets three
lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw dog food after samples from
these lots tested positive for Salmonella. The codes for each
product are listed in the second group of numbers below the barcode on
the package. These products are as follows.
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs: 5309(11)181019, manufactured on October 19, 2018
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs: 5375(11)181106, manufactured on November 11, 2018
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Turkey Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs: 5339(11)181026, manufactured on October 26, 2018
- If you have these lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Food, throw them away.
- The FDA is issuing this alert because these three lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw dog food represent a serious threat to human and animal health and are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they contain Salmonella.
- Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their health care providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection.
What is the problem?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets three lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Food because products from these lots tested positive for Salmonella. These products include two lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs (identified in the second group of numbers below the barcode as 5309(11)181019 and 5375(11)181106) and one lot of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Turkey Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs (5339(11)181026). These products are manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and are sold online direct to consumers.
The FDA collected and analyzed unopened samples of products from these three lots in response to a consumer complaint. Samples from all three lots tested positive for Salmonella.
Why is the FDA issuing this alert?
The FDA is issuing this alert because these three lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw dog food represent a serious threat to human and animal health and are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they contain Salmonella. Because these products are sold and stored frozen, and the FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession.
The FDA considers the actions taken by Arrow Reliance to remove violative product from the marketplace to meet the regulatory definition of a recall. However, the firm has not issued public notification, and the FDA is not confident that the firm’s customer notifications are effective for this ongoing recall. The FDA continues to work with Arrow Reliance, doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, on recalling the remaining products from these lots.
What do I need to do?
If you have Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs (5309(11)181019 and 5375(11)181106) or Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Turkey Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs (5339(11)181026), stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored 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. Clean up the pet’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the recalled product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
What is Salmonella and what are the symptoms of Salmonella infection?
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces without showing signs of being sick.
Why is the FDA concerned about Salmonella in pet food?
Pet foods contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from Salmonella and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it onto their human companions without appearing to be ill. The FDA is aware of cases in which humans and/or animals have gotten sick from exposure to contaminated pet foods (Salmonella-human cases, Salmonella-kitten, Salmonella-kitten, dog).
Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination will continue to spread. 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, in addition to cleaning items in the home.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. Pet food manufacturers must effectively manage sourcing of ingredients, processing and packing to control pathogens. Without an effective control, such as cooking, raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain pathogens such as Salmonella. Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria. Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products.
The FDA is the Federal agency that regulates pet food, while the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates meat and poultry for human consumption. USDA-regulated raw meat and poultry products for human consumption are intended to be cooked and carry instructions to cook the product to a safe temperature. However, raw pet food products are intended to be served without cooking, which creates a potential health hazard for people and pets exposed to these products.
How can I report a pet illness?
People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Vet-LIRN Network if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
End of FDA caution statement.
Also received today was a full explanation from Darwin’s Pet Food to their side of the story. They will be providing the same information in a press release scheduled to be sent out soon. I commend Darwin’s for being fully transparent with me – and the public. My personal opinion based on both sides of the story…this has been blown way out of proportion by FDA.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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