Nationwide recall for Bravo! pet food for Salmonella contamination

Several of Bravo!’s raw poultry pet foods for cats and dogs are being recalled following testing by the state of Nebraska for contaminates and they found – surprise! – Salmonella. Surprising, considering tests conducted by an independent third-party lab for Bravo! found the products were negative for Salmonella. In fact, Bravo! tests all outgoing product for pathogens before they ship to consumers. Despite their efforts, the recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product.

What is not terribly surprising is that Salmonella was found in the poultry product considering the nation’s poultry supply is already assumed to be contaminated with Salmonella. Under the New Poultry Inspection System final rule, the USDA will not require plants to test for Salmonella or Campylobacter, the two pathogens most frequently associated with raw poultry. A plant could decide to test for enteric pathogens such as Salmonella or Campylobacter. Or the plant could decide to test for indicator organisms such as generic E. coli or Aerobic Plate Count (APC) instead. USDA leaves that decision up to the plant.

Additionally, the USDA also refused to set basic standards for the level of bruises, feathers, bile or ingesta on birds going down the processing line, instead letting each company set its own standard.

Meanwhile, over at the FDA, they maintain a “zero-tolerance” policy for Salmonella in pet food “because it can pose risks to human health when people who are “at-risk” (children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems) come into direct contact with contaminated pet food.”

But, I digress. That is another story. Meanwhile, the Bravo press release (edited for clarity):

Bravo Recalls Select Chicken and Turkey Pet Foods Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 26, 2014 – (Manchester, CT) Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. 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. 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.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

1) These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella (see image below) :

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

ucm416454

2) The following products are being recalled (withdrawn) out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive (see image below):

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059

15360905451_07a5a91e3e_o

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has NOT been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website www.bravopetfoods.com for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at www.bravopetfoods.com , or call toll-free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST).

Source: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm416452.htm

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (5) Write a comment

  1. Wait!!! They stated that HEALTHY people might exhibit symptoms, yet they did not state anything about the susceptibility of dogs. Dogs which are healthy should not have any reactions to salmonella. It is only a concern if a dog has an immune system which is severely compromised. Around 36% of dogs carry salmonella, but have no clinical significance. In the following article I interviewed an expert, Melinda Miller about this subject. http://www.essentiallydogs.com/salmonella-whats-the-truth
    So… If the FDA is going to put consumers into a panic about salmonella because of the danger to humans, then based on that principle, raw meat, fish, and poultry should be taken off shelves.

    Reply

    • I agree Janie, it was their recall wording – not mine. I know the situation is absurd – if Salmonella is such a health risk the USDA needs to change their policy. I think that the risk is primarily for the young, the elderly and the immune compromised humans. It is also possible that unhealthy, very young or very old dogs (and cats) could be negatively impacted by pathogens. I am concerned for any vulnerable mammal in the household that should come in contact with pathogenic bacteria – regardless of their source.

      Reply

  2. Digressing, is OK. I wish consumers took the issue of salmonella in pet foods more seriously, and did not dismiss it as “just another zero-tolerance FDA thing” as they do. Long-term exposure to salmonella bacteria can be fatal in dogs: the infection can chronic, and is then regarded as a disease, which can lead to repeated unpredictable/ spontaneous diarrhea (with attending organ-threatening dehydration) lasting for weeks. The infection can progress to septicemia (bacterial infection of the blood), which can be fatal. This company really has had an awful lot of recalls. And you raise the issue of “self determination” as to the diligence of testing at these manufacturing facilities, which is disturbing. Uh, but not surprising.

    Reply

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