Darwin’s Natural Pet Products of Tukwila, Wash., a manufacturer of fresh raw meals for dogs, Monday announced it is voluntarily recalling a total of four lots of products after testing showed that some of the Chicken and Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs may contain Salmonella, and the Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs sample may contain Salmonella and E. coli O128. These pathogens can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections.
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products are exclusively sold to customers through a subscription service. Customers who purchased the products have been notified of the recall directly by Darwin’s.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. 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.
Specifically, E. coli O128 was identified in the contaminated raw turkey pet food product, and is among the most clinically relevant Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC) in humans. E. coli O128 causes illness indistinguishable from E. coli O157:H7. The symptoms include diarrhea, often with bloody stools.
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Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. E. coli O128 is unknown to cause illness in dogs and cats, but infected animals can become carriers of E. coli O128 and transfer the bacteria to the home environment.
The pet food included in the recall is as follows:
• Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Net wt. 2lbs., Lot #43887, manufacture date 1/30/2018
• Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Net wt. 2lbs., Lot #44147, manufacture date 2/5/2018
• ZooLogics Chicken Meals with Organic Vegetables for Dogs, Net wt. 2lbs., Lot #44037, manufacture date 2/7/2018
• ZooLogics Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Net wt. 2lbs., Lot #44127, manufacture date 2/4/2018
According to Gary Tashjian, Darwin’s founder and president, the company has not received any reports of illness in pets who consumed the food to date.
“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. “While we believe the risk to dogs consuming our products is low, we are sensitive to the FDA’s concern for humans who might become exposed to the pathogens through handling the raw meals.”
Mr. Tashjian noted that product labels instruct those preparing the food to follow food-safety guidelines, which direct the cleaning of surfaces and utensils exposed to raw food and washing hands thoroughly after coming into contact with raw food.
Customers who have any of the affected products should dispose of the pet food as regular garbage, and contact Darwin’s for replacement by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 866-832-8319, Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm, Pacific Time; and Saturdays, 7am-3pm, Pacific Time.