FDA Issues Warning to Pet Owners After Salmonella Found in Cat and Dog Food

A bowl of dog food.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to pet owners not to use certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat and dog food, after it tested positive for Salmonella.

According to an FDA advisory, samples of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs, Lot 9774, manufactured on June 13, 2023, and Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9795, manufactured on June 28, 2023, tested positive for Salmonella.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9830, manufactured on July 19, 2023, also tested positive. All three products were made by Arrow Reliance Inc.

The pet food types affected. Three different flavors of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products were impacted.

The FDA advisory states that the products are presented in white and clear plastic packaging. The dog food has blue labeling, and the cat food has blue and green labeling. Both packages weigh two pounds and consist of four separate units. The lot codes required to verify they are the contaminated lots listed above can be found on the front of the lower left unit of the package.

“If you have these lots of pet food from Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, or you can’t be sure of the lot code of the products you have, throw them away,” the FDA warned. “Do not feed them to your pets.”

The FDA said it was issuing the advisory as the contaminated lots “pose a significant risk to human and animal health.”

Salmonella is a bacterium that can result in illness or death in humans and animals. The very young, elderly or otherwise infirm are most at risk of developing life-threatening symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Though most people recover without treatment, in some instances the diarrhea can be so severe hospitalization is required.

The CDC notes that while many animals don’t get sick from Salmonella, they are capable of carrying the bacteria in their intestines while appearing healthy and clean.

This bacteria can then reappear in their feces and easily contaminate other parts of the pet’s body, like their fur, and anything in the area where the animals live and roam. This can then become a problem for pet owners who come into contact with the infected pet.

That’s why it’s always important for people to wash their hands after touching any animals, including pets. In some cases, pets will develop all of the symptoms associated with salmonella.

The CDC recommends “prompt treatment with supportive care and fluids,” adding that: “If your pet is very sick, it may need to be hospitalized in a veterinary clinic.”

The FDA is also recommending that anyone who has any of the Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections cat or dog foods listed above throws them away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.

“Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, litter boxes, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with,” the FDA added.

A bowl of dog food.
A file image of pet food with a cross through it. The FDA has issued an advisory on several batches of a raw pet food for cats and dogs.

“Clean up the pet’s feces in places where people or other animals may become exposed. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.”

The FDA previously issued an alert to dog owners about Darwin’s Natural Pet Products in 2019, warning that some lots could contain salmonella.

Newsweek has contacted Darwin’s Natural Pet Products for comment.

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