FDA warns of salmonella found in these natural pet products

STATEN ISLAND, NY — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning pet owners to not feed their pets certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat food because they may be contaminated with salmonella.

The FDA said some samples from these lots tested positive for the bacteria, and the foods have been associated with cases of illness in three kittens from a single household.

These products are:

  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9116, manufactured on May 2, 2022.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain Free Turkey Recipe for Cats, Lot 9121, manufactured on May 4, 2022.

The items are manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and are sold online direct to consumers. They are sold in white and clear plastic packages with blue and green labeling. Each pack weighs two pounds and consists of four separate units. The lot codes are located on the front lower left unit of the package.

The FDA collected and analyzed unopened samples of products from the two lots after receiving a report of illness in three kittens in the single household that had consumed the food and developed diarrhea. A stool sample from one of the kittens tested positive for salmonella. A fourth kitten did not eat the food and did not become sick, according to the agency.

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.

If you have these lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Food, or you can’t be sure of the lot code of the products you have, the FDA urged pet owners to throw them away.

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

The FDA has also recommended that Arrow Reliance Inc. voluntarily recall these products and notify the public, but the company has not yet done so.

Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of salmonella infection should consult their health care providers.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. See your health-care provider if you’re concerned about symptoms such as high fever, diarrhea or frequent vomiting that prevent keeping liquid down, according to the CDC.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, and then to other places in the body. Children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, adults 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of salmonella.

Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces without showing signs of being sick.

Pets can get sick from salmonella and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing to be ill.

“Ounce salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination can continue to spread,” the FDA stated. “Because animals can shed the bacteria when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home.”

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