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Darwin’s Dog Food Recall

Discussion in 'Nutrition News and Articles' started by strykerdobe, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Darwin’s Dog Food Recall
    upload_2018-2-11_18-4-38.gif
    Darwin’s Pet Food is recalling two lots of dog food “which testing has found to contain Salmonella.”
    http://truthaboutpetfood.com/darwins-dog-food-recall-2/
    upload_2018-2-11_18-4-38.gif
    Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

    Susan Thixton
    Pet Food Safety Advocate
    Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
    TruthaboutPetFood.com
    Association for Truth in Pet Food

    Become a member of our pet food consumer Association. Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.

    What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
    Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 5,000 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. Click Here to preview Petsumer Report. www.PetsumerReport.com

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    Darwin’s Dog Food Recall
    By Susan Thixton
    - February 11, 2018

    [​IMG]

    Darwin’s Pet Food is recalling two lots of dog food “which testing has found to contain Salmonella.”

    From Darwin’s Pet Food email sent to customers…

    I am writing to you today to share some information about a recent recall of two of our products, which testing has found to contain Salmonella.

    • ZooLogics Chicken and Vegetable Meals for Dogs (manufactured 11/2/17)
    • ZooLogics Duck and Vegetable Meals for Dogs (manufactured 11/16/17)
    We have already notified those customers who received these meals.

    We believe most of this product has already been consumed, for the most part without incident, as most dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems are able to process pathogens such as Salmonella without harm (we are aware of a single case of a pet being affected, which involved a dog who was already ill with other conditions).

    Having said that, we take this situation very seriously. Our number one priority is providing your pet with meals that you can feel confident are healthy and safe. I’d like to take this opportunity to give you some background on how we approach the issue of pet food safety.

    Background on pet food safety
    Since I started Darwin’s in 2004, the number one question I hear about is the safety of raw food. What follows represents some of the insight I have gathered through the years – a combination of personal experience, expert advice, and research. (I will preface my comments by saying that what follows is my opinion, and others may differ.)

    Pathogens (such as Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria) – while being many raw-feeders’ top concern – are actually a relatively low risk associated with raw food. This is because, while these bacteria are pathogenic to humans, they are generally not harmful to dogs and cats. Pets’ stomachs have higher levels of acid than humans, making them hostile to such bacteria, and their digestive tracts are shorter, giving any surviving bacteria little time to multiply. This is why pets routinely, without harm, eat items that would make a person sick.


    Having said that, pets with undeveloped or weak immune systems (I.e., puppies/kittens, older dogs, sick dogs) may have some risk. In these cases, we recommend cooking the food lightly (i.e., to 165 degrees) to help eliminate pathogenic risks.

    These bacteria (especially Salmonella) are naturally present in meat – particularly poultry. So the greater risk of pathogens in raw pet food is to humans who handle the food. These risks can be minimized by using the same safety procedures that you would use for handling any raw meat products – such as cleaning surface areas exposed to raw food and washing your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with the food.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates pet food, acknowledges that dogs and cats are generally not affected by pathogens like Salmonella unless they are already ill with some other condition.
    (https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm509766.htm)

    So why are raw pet foods recalled for containing pathogens such as Salmonella? One reason is that the FDA sets a standard of “zero-tolerance” for such pathogens. For reasons that are somewhat difficult to fathom, this is actually a stricter standard than the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets for human food. So while the “human-grade” raw materials that companies like Darwin’s use for pet food would be acceptable for people to eat, because of the hurdle set by the FDA, in many cases those same ingredients would not be acceptable to the FDA for raw pet food.

    How Pet Food Companies Address Pathogen Control
    Some companies choose to control pathogens by applying a “kill step” that eliminates all bacteria, both the good and the bad. Examples of kill steps are heat (i.e., cooking), irradiation and High Pressure Pasteurization. Even some raw pet food companies use kill steps.

    One of the important benefits of feeding raw meals, however, is that it helps promote “gut health” by supplying the pet with “good” bacteria that raw food contains. One problem with using a kill step to eliminate pathogens is that “good” bacteria (which aid the digestive system) are eliminated along with pathogens.

    Our approach is more targeted. We utilize microphages (or “phages“ for short), which are naturally occurring organisms, and which are safe to humans and pets. Phages target specific pathogens, but leave “good” bacteria intact. Phages can significantly reduce pathogen levels to the point that they are not harmful to pets or humans, however, they may not eliminate them entirely.

    Since the FDA “zero-tolerance” policy calls for 100% elimination of pathogens, some tests can show the presence of these pathogens, despite the fact that they are at such low levels that dogs and cats typically can process them without any issue.

    Sincerely,
    Gary

    Gary Tashjian
    Founder, Darwin’s Pet Product
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    FDA Warns Darwin’s: Clean Up Your Act or Face The Regulatory Music
    by Mollie Morrissette
    A damning FDA warning letter sent to Darwin's Natural Pet Food this week tells the raw pet food company clean up its act or face the regulatory music. The company is being given fifteen days to shape up or ship out after the agency has repeatedly warned the company about significant pet food safety fails. […]

    Read more of this post

    FDA Warns Darwin’s: Clean Up Your Act or Face The Regulatory Music


    A damning FDA warning letter sent to Darwin’s Natural Pet Food this week tells the raw pet food company clean up its act or face the regulatory music. The company is being given fifteen days to shape up or ship out after the agency has repeatedly warned the company about significant pet food safety fails.

    This news follows on the heels of a full-on FDA investigation of the company in February. The FDA took the unusual step of publicizing a blistering report on the company and warn the public of an ongoing pattern of contaminated pet food sold by Darwin’s.

    Darwin’s pet food company has fielded hundreds of serious complaints, some dating back almost two years ago. The complaints include reports of pet illnesses associated with the raw pet food, descriptions of sharp pieces of bones in the food, difficulty swallowing and digesting the bone fragments, off-color and foul-smelling pet food in leaky packaging. Federal and state food inspectors repeatedly found multiple violations at Darwin’s pet food plant and testing found the pet food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Repeated testing discovered the pet food was contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O128.

    WHAT COMPLAINTS?

    But Gary Tashjian, president, and owner of Darwin’s told the inspectors his company hadn’t received any specific complaints regarding Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria, according to a draft report from the inspectors. Unfortunately, that claim came back to bite him in the behind when inspectors found the company logged 332 complaint entries, including complaints of foreign material, spoiled and leaking packages, and pet illnesses and deaths. Tashjian said in an email to his distributors “We have not received any reports [of illnesses] from customers regarding these meals, and are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution.” An abundance of caution.

    SALMONELLA KILLS

    The saddest story is of a poor little kitten that suffered and died after being fed Darwin’s Salmonella tainted cat food. Salmonella was isolated from both the sick kitten and from an unopened package from the same lot of the raw cat food consumed by the kitten. The kitten’s necropsy indicated a severe systemic Salmonella infection, and Salmonella was isolated from the kitten’s liver. Scientific analysis showed that the Salmonella found in the kitten liver was identical to the Salmonella isolated from the same lot of Darwin’s raw cat food the kitten ate, indicating that the food more than likely caused the illness and death of the kitten.

    NO, IT DOESN’T

    If you hear Tashjian tell it, Salmonella doesn’t kill pets: “Most animal-health experts agree that pets are generally not affected by pathogens like Salmonella or E. coli unless they are already ill with some other condition,” said Tashjian. Later, in a statement released by the company, Tashjian firmly denied there to be a problem with Salmonella stating, “…most dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems are able to process pathogens such as Salmonella without harm (we are aware of a single case of a pet being affected, which involved a dog who was already will with other conditions).”

    REPEATED VIOLATIONS

    The agency’s warning letter gives a running tally of the number of times the government caught the company selling contaminated pet food:

    • November 29, 2017, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • November 27, 2017, pet food tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes;
    • November 29, 2017, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • December 21, 2017, a nationwide Class I recall (based on Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes posing acute, life-threatening hazards to health) for the pet food lots that tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes;
    • February 1, 2018, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • February 6, 2018, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • February 13, 2018, a nationwide Class I recall (Salmonella poses an acute, life-threatening hazard to health) was initiated after FDA notified Darwin’s of the pet food sample results;
    • March 19, 2018, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • March 20, 2018, pet food tested positive for Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O128;
    • March 16, 2018, pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • March 16, 2018, another pet food tested positive for Salmonella;
    • March 26, 2018, a nationwide Class I recall (Salmonella poses an acute, life-threatening hazard to health) was initiated after FDA notified Darwin’s of the pet food sample results;
    • Even though sources of meat in two pet food products were different, the analysis indicated that the Salmonella strains are identical, suggesting pathogen contamination in Darwin’s facility;
    • FDA has concerns about the use of bacteriophages because the agency is unaware that they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
    Darwin’s recurring pet food safety violations indicate a pattern of problems that the company apparently has the inability to control or lack of interest in doing so.

    FAILURE TO ACT RESPONSIBLY

    The agency stated the obvious, that it the responsibility of the company to ensure that they are not producing an unadulterated product. The FDA also warns that “unlike other human and pet foods which are heat-treated or are intended to be cooked, raw pet food has the potential to pose a significant risk to human and animal health because raw pet food is produced with minimal processing and is intended to be handled by humans and fed to animals without cooking, which would kill potentially harmful pathogens.”

    FIX IT OR FORGET IT

    The FDA has put Darwin’s on notice: Take prompt action to correct the violations, and establish and implement procedures that will prevent these and other violations in the future. If Darwin’s can’t pull that off, then the FDA warns the company that a “Failure to implement lasting corrective actions may result in FDA taking further regulatory action, such as seizure and injunction, without further notice.”

    A CASE STUDY

    Darwin’s warning letter serves as an example of what can happen if a pet food company fails to produce a safe product. In particular, this is a warning to other raw pet food manufacturers that the agency has a specific concern for foods that do not undergo a kill-step. With every new raw pet food recall, and subsequent bad press reports validate the government’s criticism of the raw pet food sector, further solidifying their rationale in focusing their efforts on pet food that is more likely to be contaminated than a pet food that has undergone a kill-step over one that has not. Essentially, reports like this paint a bigger target on raw pet food’s back.

    HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CONTAMINATED FOOD

    Pathogenic bacteria can cause serious infections in people who handle contaminated food. It can also contaminate surfaces, containers, and utensils, which can spread the bacteria to foods, hands, and anything coming into contact with the contaminated items.

    PET FOOD SAFETY TIPS

    • Do not feed your pet any food that appears to be spoiled, off-color, off-odor, or otherwise defective.
    • Take special care to avoid any drippings from thawed food that could contaminate your work surfaces.
    • If your pet is suffering from diarrhea, be extra careful about washing your hands before handling or preparing food.
    • Be aware that you can infect yourself with Salmonella or Listeria by spreading microscopic amounts of the bacteria from the contaminated food to your mouth.
    • If you get Salmonella or Listeria on your hands or clothing, you can’t see it or smell it, but you can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.
    • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects that come in contact with pet food.
    WHAT TO DO IF YOU A PROBLEM

    People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated raw pet food should contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have dogs tested for Salmonella or other pathogenic bacteria may do so through the Vet-LIRN Network if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.

    If you believe your pet has become ill from consuming a pet food, please provide the FDA with valuable information by reporting it electronically through their Safety Reporting Portal or call your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

    If you and your veterinarian think a pet food or treat is the source of a problem – save it – because your state agricultural or veterinary diagnostic lab may want to do testing. Find out how to report a pet food complaint to the FDA. If you have any questions about this process or need my help with anything else, please don’t hesitate to write me at molliemorrissette@poisonedpets.com. I’m happy to help.

    SINCE YOU’RE HERE …

    … I have a teensy weensy favor to ask. Believe it or not, Poisoned Pets’ independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. And I do it all on a tattered shoestring, but I do it because I believe this work matters – because it might save your pets life.

    If everyone who reads my reporting, who likes it, and helps fund it, the future of Poisoned Pets would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support Poisoned Pets – and it only takes a minute. Please donate – even if it’s a tiny amount – to help Poisoned Pets.

     
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  3. luckybeemer

    luckybeemer Jr Member

    I just ordered this before seeing this post. Been transitioning this week with the Primal freeze dried chicken. Was thinking of eventually going just a premade complete meal frozen. Primal honestly feels weird and I have probably added too much water when trying to reconstitute. Lol. BUT I figured more water couldn't hurt.
     

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