Salmonella illnesses prompt pet food recall

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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WASHINGTON – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with state agencies in Minnesota, is investigating two Salmonella Reading illnesses linked to raw pet food.

The Minnesota Dept. of Health (MDH) reported two children from the same household were sickened by Salmonella R. Tests performed by the health department and the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) revealed that the same strain of S. Reading found in the children was also found in four samples of Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets that was used to feed the family dog.

One child became seriously ill with septicemia (blood infection) and osteomyelitis, a painful and serious bone infection, FDA reported. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most individuals recover without treatment.

The findings prompted Christofersen Meats Company Inc., manufacturer of Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets, to recall all lots of Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets that were manufactured on Oct. 12, 2017. On Feb. 5, Christofersen Meats, doing business as Swanson Meats, in Minneapolis, (and no relation to Swanson Meals), launched a recall of approximately 4,000 lbs. of the company’s 5-lb. and 1-lb. chubs of ground turkey pet food.

The affected products are packaged into regular Turkey Pet Food cases and Pet Food Combo Pack cases, which contain a variety of pet food products. The recalled products have case codes of 9900008, 9900009, 9900014, and 9900015. The manufacture date of Turkey Pet Food cases is 10/12/2017, and the manufacture dates of Combo Pack cases are between 10/12/2017 and 2/2/2018. The product is sold online through direct-to-consumer sales via www.rawsforpaws.com.

“The recalled lot codes and the manufacturing dates are printed on the cardboard case label,” FDA said in a recall notice. “However, they are not printed on the individual plastic chub packaging. Therefore, if the cardboard case has been discarded, there are no unique identification numbers on the individual chubs that allow customers to determine that they possess the recalled products.”

Pets do not always display symptoms of Salmonella, FDA said, and can transmit Salmonella to humans without showing any signs of the illness themselves. However, signs of infection can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level.

Christofersen Meats suspended production while MDA and the company continue investigating the source of the contamination.

FDA said the agency has “a zero-tolerance policy” for Salmonella or other pathogenic bacteria in all pet food. The agency will act, as appropriate, against any commercially-made pet food found to be contaminated with Salmonella, the agency noted.

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