A heads up to independent pet food store owners…if the FDA comes into your store, have your cell phone camera ready.
I’ve heard numerous reports of FDA coming into pet food stores and to pet food manufacturing facilities where the FDA representatives have been less than respectful of the store and more concerning, the representatives were less than sterile with pet food samples taken.
From multiple sources – all unrelated – I’ve been told FDA has on previous inspections…
- Reused sample containers (that had held previous pet food samples);
- Not worn sterile gloves when taking samples;
- Punctured packaging to obtain samples (instead of properly opening the product);
- Sample obtaining tool not sterilized between use (tool used to remove a pet food sample from each pet food was not washed or sterilized in between each sample taken).
In an FDA study (2010 through 2012), the agency tested 196 samples of raw pet food finding 15 positive for Salmonella and 32 positives for Listeria. In the same study the agency tested 250 dry pet foods and found only one sample to be positive for Salmonella. This FDA study is now the foundation for a FDA testing investigation (which will result in recalls) of raw pet foods and only raw pet foods. The agency states that since their study showed the major risk for bacteria contamination is raw pet food, they will only test raw pet food.
However, based on recall data for the past five years (including the same time frame of this FDA study) – there have been 27 raw pet foods recalled for bacteria contamination and 78 dry pet foods recalled for bacteria contamination. It remains puzzling why/how FDA found dramatically different results in their testing study of pet food than real life recalls.
It does make one wonder – with the improper testing procedures (as reported to me) – was the end result of the FDA study (finding almost zero bacteria contamination in dry pet foods) scripted – with the assistance of improper testing procedures of raw pet food?
So perhaps, independent pet food store owners can become private detectives should FDA come into your store. If the FDA or State Department of Agriculture comes into your store, have your cell phone handy if you see anything out of the ordinary. Press record video and film any improper testing procedures. If you see that the sampling tool is not cleaned between samples, film it. If you see dirty or reused sample containers being used, take a picture. You have the right to document everything the FDA or State does in your store (but you can also film discretely if need be). If – and I’m saying if – the FDA is using improper testing procedures, we all need to be alerted to this situation.
Of course pet food consumers deserve to be able to purchase pet food free of dangerous bacteria. But at the same time consumers deserve to know that FDA obtained that sample through proper procedure (not contaminating a product in the sampling process).
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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