Contaminated Dog Food Spreads Across 9 States, Pet Food Recall of Diamond Pet Foods Expanded to Include Costco’s Private Label, Salmonella Concerns Grow (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 7, 2012
The only good news about this expanding dog food recall is that no dogs have been reported sickened or have died from eating the contaminated dog food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.
Not yet, anyway.
And a lack of reporting of canine deaths or illness is a poor indicator that no dogs have been affected.
People, on the other hand, in at least nine different states have become sickened from handling the salmonella-tainted dog food.
Reported by NY Daily News, Salmonella in dog food sickens 14 plant workers; ‘Diamond Pet Foods’ ID’d as source of illnesses:
Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that a few years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday.
At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Mo.-based company.
“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.
Three people each were infected in Missouri and North Carolina; two people in Ohio; and one person each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the CDC said.
“Our folks are really wanting people to be aware of it. They want to be aware that this is causing people to get sick because they may have product in their homes. For every one that is reported, there may be 29 others,” Russell said.
People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said.
The South Carolina plant temporarily was shut down April 8. Diamond Pet Foods has issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant, located outside of Columbia, S.C., between Dec. 9 and April 7. The latest recalls were announced Friday.
“We took corrective actions at the plant, and today the plant is up and running. Our mission is to produce safe pet foods for our customers and their pets in all Diamond facilities,” the company said in a written statement Friday.
Pet Food Recall Expanded
From Philadelphia Inquirer, Illnesses linked to contaminated pet food:
Agriculture officials in Michigan found the strain of salmonella during routine testing of dog food on April 2 and health investigators noticed there was a possible link to the food made by Diamond Pet Foods. An ill person still had some of the food, and authorities were able to link the cases to the food, according to the Associated Press report.
The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild.
The range of quality of dog food brands recalled from the same plant highlights the issues we’ve seen before with single plants producing pet food under various brand names.
Diamond dry dog food, used by many commercial kennel operators, gets a below average rating from Dog Food Advisor. By contrast Taste of the Wild received Dog Food Advisor’s top rating.
Who can forget the devastating effects from melamine imported from China that made it into the North American pet food supply chain. The contamination in one Canadian plant that made many brands of pet food, led to 100 pet deaths and 500 cases of kidney failure.
From Seattle Times, Pet-food recall expanded:
Diamond Pet Foods has expanded its recall of dog food made at its Gaston, S.C., plant to include more brands, including some Kirkland Signature products, Costco’s private label, because of Salmonella contamination at the facility.
Kirkland products distributed in Washington were not included in the recall, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (For more information on this recall, go here.)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that several brands of dry dog food made at Diamond’s South Carolina facility tested positive for Salmonella Infantis, a rare strain that has infected at least 14 people. The individuals became ill either through handling the tainted kibble or having contact with a dog that had eaten it. The outbreak has now spread across nine states.
Although Diamond has claimed no dog illnesses have been linked to the outbreak, Food Safety News reports the claim may be leaving some pet owners with a false sense of security because state and federal agencies don’t track pet illnesses. So although no dog illnesses have been reported, that doesn’t mean no dog illnesses have occurred, it says.
The Kirkland Signature products included in the recall are:
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best Before Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013)
— Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs (Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013)
To determine if their pet food is recalled, the FDA recommends consumers check the production codes on the back of bags; they must have both a number “3” in the ninth position AND an “X” in the 11th position. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed are Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013.