Routine testing carried out by the state of Ohio was responsible for the discovery of Salmonella in Diamond Pet Foods’ Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula. The finding resulted in the recall of one production code (DSL 0801) of the dry dog food earlier this month.
The contaminated product, which was recalled on May 18th, was manufactured at Diamond’s Meta, Missouri facility, and not at the Gaston (South Carolina) production plant. The Gaston facility has been the focus of a foodborne disease outbreak investigation since mid-March.
The Salmonella found by Ohio in the Missouri-made product has been identified as Salmonella Liverpool, according to Laura Alvey, Deputy Director of Communications Staff for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The strain is different from the Salmonella Infantis outbreak strain that was recovered from dry pet food manufactured at the Company’s Gaston facility.
According to the Company’s recall notice, the affected pet food was distributed in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin (but not in Ohio). The company added that further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.
This latest information underscores some important lessons:
- Diamond Pet Foods has “issues” in more than one of its manufacturing facilities;
- Routine finished product testing carried out by state agencies is an important food safety enforcement tool; and
- The list of states to which the recalled food was distributed is unreliable, as it does not take into account redistribution or internet-based sales.
Finally, protect yourself, your family members and your pets from becoming statistics in the Diamond Pet Foods outbreak, by taking the following precautions:
- Check your supply of pet food to see whether it is affected by the recall. If it is on the recall list, either throw it away or return the unused portion to the retailer.
- If you have handled one of the recalled products and you develop symptoms of Salmonella (stomach ache, diarrhea, etc), seek immediate medical attention and mention the possible link to pet food.
- If your dog or cat was fed one of the recalled products and develops symptoms of gastrointestinal illness (vomiting or diarrhea), seek immediate veterinary attention. Ask your veterinarian to test your pet for Salmonella. If the test is positive, you or your veterinarian should contact FDA immediately.
- Review the FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treats, and follow its recommendations to keep your family and your pets safe.
- Monitor eFoodAlert’s Diamond Pet Foods, Etc. Recalls – 2012 page. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
Above all, be aware that dogs may be infected with Salmonella - and may shed the bacteria in their stool - without showing any outward symptoms of illness. If your pet has consumed a Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food, be especially careful to wash your hands after handling the animal, and supervise closely any interaction between children and your pet.