UPDATE: Producer comments added.
The US Food and Drug Administration has warned pet owners not to feed Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat food after samples from those batches tested positive for Salmonella.
The FDA recommended that Arrow Reliance Inc. voluntarily recall these products and notify the public, but the company has not done so.
There is a risk to people from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after contact with the products or surfaces exposed to these products.
These foods have been linked to cases of illness in three cats from a single household.
Arrow Reliance Inc. The company manufactures the products, doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and sells them online direct to consumers.
Because these products are sold and stored frozen, the FDA is concerned that people may still have them on hand and feed them to pets.
FDA collected and tested unopened product samples from these two lots after receiving reports of illness from three kittens from a single household who consumed the food and had diarrhea. A stool sample from one of the cats tested positive for Salmonella. A fourth cat did not eat the food and did not get sick.
Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella in both products revealed that the turkey product contained Salmonella Typhimurium, and the chicken product contained Salmonella Typhimurium and Kentucky.
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products released a statement on August 4 stating that they believe the FDA alert is unnecessary. “We believe the FDA’s request is completely unnecessary; there are no pet health risks to deal with. We also believe the FDA’s request is based on erroneous regulatory decisions and have taken steps to clarify our position with the agency.” The full memo can be viewed here.
Consumers of any of the Natural Cat Foods from Darwin’s Pet Products Natural Selection listed above should stop feeding them to their pets and dispose of them in a secure container out of reach of other animals, including wildlife.
Consumers who have had this product at home should clean refrigerators/freezers where product has been stored and clean and disinfect containers, utensils, food preparation surfaces, pet beds, litter boxes, toys, floors, and all food or food surfaces. the pets may have a relationship.
Clean up pet droppings in areas where people or other animals may be exposed. Consumers should wash their hands thoroughly after handling any pet food product or cleaning items and surfaces that may be contaminated.
About Salmonella infections in pets. Animals do not always show symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs may include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If a pet has these symptoms, owners should consult a veterinarian immediately. Consumers should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces without showing signs of being sick.
Salmonella-contaminated pet food is of public health concern because it can affect human and animal health, according to the FDA. Animals can become sick from Salmonella and can also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing sick. FDA is aware of cases where humans and/or animals have become ill from exposure to Salmonella-contaminated pet food.
Because animals can shed bacteria when they have bowel movements, it is especially important to clean up animal feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may be exposed, in addition to cleaning household items.
About Salmonella Infections Human or animal food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can get sick with a Salmonella infection. Babies, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has come into contact with any of the recalled products and develops symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Patients should tell their doctors about possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are needed to diagnose salmonellosis. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can mimic other illnesses, often leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, the diarrhea can be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop serious illnesses and conditions that are serious and sometimes life-threatening.
Some people are infected without getting sick or showing symptoms. However, it is possible to spread the infection to others.
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