But it is not what you think. The FDA just specifically stated “Don’t feed certain Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog treats – Product may be contaminated with Salmonella”. Flat out stated “don’t feed” this certain type of U.S. made jerky treat only because of risk of Salmonella – the “potential” for Salmonella. But the FDA has never once stated ‘Don’t feed Jerky Treats from China’ – even though for five years the agency has received complaints of pet illness and reports of dead pets directly related to the Chinese made jerky treats. Something is wrong with this picture.
Just released today – December 6, 2012 – from FDA (bold added – please note bold type):
FDA: Don’t feed certain Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog treats
Product may be contaminated with Salmonella
December 6, 2012
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners and caretakers not to feed their pets Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats with a lot code of BESTBY061913DEN because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. The treats are made, packaged and distributed in the United States by Kasel Associates Industries Inc. (Kasel) and were sold at Costco stores in the Denver, Colo., area.
Kasel has declined to perform a voluntary recall at this time. However, Costco is working with FDA and has removed all of the affected products from its shelves. The company will also contact customers who may have purchased the product to provide additional instructions.
The product is sold in 3.0 lb. packages labeled as Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats. The product is packaged in flexible plastic which is yellow, blue, green and red, with black and white print writing. The packaging also has a digital photo of a dog on the front panel, and transparent sections to view the product inside. Lot code BESTBY061913DEN is located on the reverse side of the packaging in the transparent section immediately following the term “All American Dog.”
In September 2012, a retail sample of a Kasel dog treat product tested by the Colorado Department of Agriculture was found to be positive for Salmonella. An FDA follow-up inspection at the firm found certain finished dog treat products and 34 out of 72 environmental samples positive for Salmonella.
On October 2, 2012, the company recalled one lot of its Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats. However that recall did not extend to the lot code covered by this warning.
In November 2012, a retail sample of Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats lot code BESTBY061913DEN taken by the Colorado Department of Agriculture tested positive for Salmonella.
These treats are manufactured in the United States and are not associated with FDA’s investigation in reports of illnesses in dogs associated with consumption of chicken jerky treats.
FDA has not received any reports of illnesses associated with these treats. However, both people and animals can contract Salmonellosis from handling or eating contaminated products. People handling dry pet treats should thoroughly wash their hands after having contact with the treats as well as any surfaces exposed to these products.
Consumers should dispose of these products in ways that people and animals, including wild animals, cannot access them, such as placing them in a securely lidded garbage can.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella may experience some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Although rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care provider immediately.
The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection. The bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in these vulnerable populations. Most healthy individuals recover from Salmonella infections within four to seven days without treatment.
Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected product or is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
As with humans, dogs who are elderly, very young or have impaired immune systems are more vulnerable to Salmonella infection.
Consumers can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food and pet treat products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in their area or by reporting through the Safety Reporting Portal. Information on reporting consumer complaints can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm.
Here’s my beef. FDA makes the public statement “Don’t feed certain Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog treats” because of the potential for Salmonella contamination. Ok, yes – this is a good warning from FDA. But why now? Why with just this one treat? Why specifically advise pet food consumers to “don’t feed” this jerky treat but not specifically advise pet food consumers to “don’t feed” Chinese imported jerky treats?
Plus, FDA asked Costco to “work with FDA” to remove the Kasel jerky treats from store shelves – again only because of the potential they are contaminated with Salmonella. But never once – in five years of reports of sick and dying pets has the FDA ever asked a national retailer to remove the jerky treats from China because they have the potential to destroy a dog’s kidneys.
Costco pulls the product – even though there is no recall. But when begged by thousands of pet parents Costco has never pulled the Chinese jerky treats?
What is going on?
The following questions have been sent to Laura Alvey, FDA spokesperson…
I have a question on the FDA’s notice posted today on jerky dog treats manufactured by Kasel. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm331148.htm?source=govdelivery In the FDA announcement they said “Kasel has declined to perform a voluntary recall at this time. However, Costco is working with FDA and has removed all of the affected products from its shelves. The company will also contact customers who may have purchased the product to provide additional instructions.” This product was not recalled – yet FDA asked the retailer to “work with” them and remove it from store shelves. Why hasn’t that been done with the chicken jerky treats from China? Dr. Dan McChesney (CVM) told industry in October that FDA is receiving 40 complaints a week related to the Chinese jerky treats – on a slow media week. With media coverage, that number of reports to FDA “increases dramatically”. So again, can you provide me a statement from FDA as to why the same effort from FDA to “work with” retailers hasn’t been done with Chinese imported jerky treats.
Something doesn’t make sense here. I’m hopeful you can provide clarification.
Something really stinks. Pets can continue to die for five years related to the jerky treats from China but with only a possibility of Salmonella the FDA asks a retailer to remove the treats? Pets have been dying and suffered kidney damage for five years related to the Chinese imported jerky treats yet FDA has never once made the statement “Do not feed…”.
Something is very wrong here.
Myself, Mollie Morrissette and Tony Corbo of Food & Water Watch have a conference call meeting with Bernadette Dunham DVM, Director Center for Veterinary Management, FDA and Dr. Dan McChesney, Director Office of Surveillance and Compliance CVM, FDA on December 19 from 1-2 pm. We will certainly address this puzzling situation (and more) at this meeting. Of course I will keep everyone posted.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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