Recall Update (May 30, 6:30 p.m. Eastern): U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Laura Alvey stated Tuesday, that Salmonella contamination found at Diamond’s Meta, Missouri plant is not from the same strain as that of the Gaston, South Carolina plant. The contamination at the Missouri plant comes from Salmonella Liverpool, while the South Carolina plant — connected to all products except those in the most recent recall expansion — has been contaminated by Salmonella Infantis.
The Missouri plant has now been included in the FDA’s ongoing investigation into the Salmonella outbreak and recall. Diamond also has a facility in Lathrop, California which is not included in the plants producing contaminated food, at this time.
Pets are rarely tested for Salmonella, making it impossible to estimate the number ill from the contamination. On May 29, 2012 Law.com reports a lawsuit was filed alleging an infant got Salmonella-tainted dog food making it the first case in the wake of a series of messy pet food recall expansions and corrections.
After expanding the recall at least eight times, writers are frustrated by the coverage and confusion. The Diamond recall missteps include corrections to use by dates and production codes. The company seems to make and the correct and expand the slip ups, as documented in correction notices on the Diamond website where the best before date first changed to December 2012 through April 7, 2012.
Later changes in code and dates were corrected to “The below list of product with production codes that must have both a number “3” in the 9th position AND an “X” in the 10th or 11th position with best before dates of December 9, 2012, through January 31, 2013 which are being recalled.”
“Please note: we have CORRECTED the production codes below.” The original announcement of recall of Chicken Soup dog food required yet another change in the production codes.
Microbiologist and eFoodAlert writer, Phyllis Entis has established that pet owners in Ireland and France have reported their dogs became sick after eating Taste of the Wild, one of the recalled brands.
On May 21, the public health arm of the Singapore government released a consumer advisory on the recall. Four of the nine affected brands are sold in Singapore.
On the day of the most recent recall expansion, the Calgary Herald in Alberta reported that two cats in a Montreal animal shelter died after eating recalled cat food. Around that same time, another human case was reported in Nova Scotia, bringing the confirmed human cases to 17: 15 in the U.S. and 2 in Canada.
“This stuff is all around the world,” Entis said. “There are a lot of countries where this product might be, but Diamond — to the best of my knowledge — has not released a list of countries.”
What are the symptoms in humans? Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever are indications of salmonella poisoning. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
What are some non-Diamond pet foods that might be good alternatives? It’s understandable that pet owners would be wary of simply replacing their Diamond product with another from a different lot. Customers who want affordable alternatives to Diamond’s Chicken Soup or Taste of the Wild might consider Life’s Abundance, Earthborn or Fromm brands. They are of comparable price. In 14 years of business, Life’s Abundance has never been recalled.
While some dog foods proudly fly American flags on their packaging or tout that they are “made in America”, that doesn’t mean the ingredients are all sourced in the U.S. It means they are assembled in the U.S. This expanding recall is yet another example of why it makes sense to get dog food from a company that has tighter quality control methods in place and has never had recalls, voluntary or FDA. Companies like Life’s Abundance make food from higher grade ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control. And having the food on autoship means if there ever is a problem, the batches can be tracked quickly to avoid serious problems.
What are symptoms of salmonella infection in dogs and cats?
Initial symptoms include:
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
If your pet has consumed dry food from one of the tainted lots and has symptoms of salmonella infection, please contact your veterinarian.
If left untreated, dogs may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has symptoms of salmonella infection, please contact your veterinarian.
Public Service Announcement from Veterinarian, Dr. Sarah saying yes dogs and cats and get salmonella to.
Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified instructor for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.