May 7, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

Food Safety Inspectors Conducting Effectiveness Checks on Recalled Pet Foods

MONTGOMERY - The Department of Agriculture and Industries Food Safety inspectors continue to conduct effectiveness checks on several varieties of pet food that have been recalled after Salmonella was detected during retail surveillance sampling. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local officials to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections. A total of 14 individuals infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from nine states. For complete details on the cases, go to CDC’s Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food website1.

FDA became involved in early April when the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported detecting Salmonella from an intact package of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs, collected during retail surveillance sampling.  Diamond Pet Food was notified of the sampling results, and agreed to voluntarily recall this product on April 6, 2012. At that time, there were no known dog illnesses reported.

An additional finding of Salmonella in a sample taken by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, from an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store led to a recall of that product on April 26, 2012. A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility also yielded Salmonella Infantis, which led to a recall of that product on April 30, 2012.

Public health officials used DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to investigate cases of human illness. CDC reports that this outbreak strain (Infantis) is rare, and typically only 0 to 3 cases are reported per month to PulseNet5.

Through interviews by state public health officials, FDA’s review of consumer complaints, and from a comparison of pet products from human exposure, some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pets Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have now been linked to human Salmonella infections.

Brand names included in the recall are: Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health, Taste of the Wild, Wellness® dry dog food, several varieties of Natural Balance Pet foods and several varieties of Canidae Dog foods. A complete list of recalled products is available at www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls

Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets 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 these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to a contaminated product. Healthy people who believe they may have been exposed to Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have received a limited number of reports of salmonellosis, the illness caused by Salmonella.

FDA, CDC, and state investigations are ongoing in an effort to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at the South Carolina facility may be linked to confirmed human illnesses.  FDA will provide updates on the investigation as new information becomes available.  Consumers can sign up to receive Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts at www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls.

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Amy Belcher

Communications Director

Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries

334/240-7126 office

334/799-5050 cell

 



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