By Dr. Becker
I'm sure by now most of you are aware of the recent Diamond Pet Food recalls involving several lines of dry dog and cat food.
The cause of the recalls is potential salmonella contamination that has made a handful of people (not pets, according to reports) ill with Salmonella Infantis infections.
The list of brands issuing recalls seems to grow daily. At the time of this writing, the following foods were involved in the recall:
4Health Diamond Premium Edge Apex Diamond Naturals Professional Canidae Kirkland Signature Solid Gold Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain Taste of the Wild Country Value Natural Balance Wellness
In case you're wondering what many of these brands have to do with Diamond Pet Foods, they are all apparently manufactured in a Diamond facility located in Gaston, NC.
For details concerning the specific products recalled (production codes, locations of distribution, etc.), visit the Diamond Pet Food recall information page. I also recommend Googling for the most recent news, because it doesn't appear Diamond is updating their web pages as quickly as news agencies are disseminating information to the public.
If you're feeding one of the brands listed above to your pet, you can also contact the company whose name is on the packaging to discuss your concerns.
If You're Feeding Your Pet One of the Recalled Foods …
- Throw the remainder away or return the unused portion to the store where you bought it.
- If you or family members have been in contact with any of the recalled foods and develop symptoms of salmonella poisoning, see a doctor as soon as possible and let him or her know of a possible link to pet food.
- If your dog or cat was fed a recalled product and develops GI symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite), get him to your vet or an animal emergency clinic as soon as possible. If your pet tests positive for salmonella, you or the vet should contact the FDA to have the food tested.
How to Avoid Tainted Pet Food Altogether
Any food improperly handled has the potential to cause illness. But when you prepare meals at home using fresh foods and follow common sense rules for handling, cooking and storage, you take most of the guesswork and worry out of food safety.
You no longer have to be concerned that something unsavory or potentially deadly is lurking in a processed food item in your pantry or fridge.
A good way to avoid contaminated pet food is, of course, to prepare your dog's or cat's meals yourself. This not only eliminates risk of exposure to tainted commercial pet foods, but done correctly, it will also pay huge dividends for your pet's well-being and quality of life.
For those of you who want to continue feeding commercial pet food, the AVMA has some tips for handling processed pet foods and treats safely:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any pet food or treats
- Don't allow very young children, elderly people or those who are immunocompromised to handle pet food or treats
- Keep all pet foods and treats away from your family's food.
- Do not prepare pet foods in the same area or with the same equipment/utensils you use to prepare human foods.
- Do not allow pets on countertops or other areas where human food is prepared.
- Feeding pets in the kitchen has been identified as a source of infection. If you can arrange to feed your pet in an area other than your kitchen, consider doing so. Alternatively, feed your pet as far away from human food preparation areas as possible.