FDA Issues Alert After Pet Food Is Tested Positive for Salmonella

Pet owners should be cautious before their pet's next feeding. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Aug. 5 issued a public health alert cautioning pet owners against feeding their furry pals Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw cat food after samples in certain lots tested positive for salmonella, a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in both humans and animals.

The FDA issued the alert because the products "represent a serious threat to human and animal health" and after it "recommended that Arrow Reliance Inc. voluntarily recall these products and notify the public, but the company has not done so." The concern has to do with certain lots of Darwin's Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Cats (Lot 9116, manufactured on May 2, 2022) and Darwin's Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain Free Turkey Recipe for Cats (Lot 9121, manufactured on May 4, 2022). The FDA received a report of illness in three kittens in a single household that had consumed the food and developed diarrhea, and a tool sample from one of the kittens tested positive for Salmonella. Following the reports, the FDA "collected and analyzed unopened samples of products from these two lots." Additionally, "whole genome sequencing of the Salmonella in the two products revealed that the turkey product contained Salmonella Typhimurium, while the chicken product contained Salmonella Typhimurium and Kentucky."

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in both humans and animal. In humans, symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, and typically occur within 12 to 72 hours of consumption. In pets, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. However, pets do not always display symptoms when infected with salmonella.

"The FDA is issuing this alert because these two lots of Darwin's Natural Pet Products cat food represent a serious threat to human and animal health," the FDA said. "Because these products are sold and stored frozen, the FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession and feed them to their pets. 

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The Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw cat food products of concern are sold in white and clear plastic packages with blue and green labeling. Per the FDA, each pack weighs two pounds and consists of four separate units, and the lot codes are on the front lower left unit of the package. Consumers who purchased the affected products, or cannot be certain the lot code of their product isn't affected, are advised to throw the products away "in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it." The foods should not be fed to pets.