Vital Essentials Recalls Raw Dog Treats For Salmonella

The Vital Essentials raw pet food company, owned by Carnivore Meat, is recalling its Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entrée for Dogs because the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recall is being issued following the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s collection of a retail sample which tested positive for Salmonella.

The affected product was distributed nationally and through online retailers. Affected products can be identified by lot number #13753.


Salmonella can affect animals eating the products, and there is a 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.


Consumers who have purchased Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entrée for Dogs in a 1 lb bag are urged to return the effected product to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers with questions may call the company at 920-370-6542 for additional information.

Problems with the recalled product should also be reported to the FDA.

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Mollie Morrissette

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

Comments (7) Write a comment

  1. My kitties have recently been ill with digestive distress and they are now refusing to eat their Vital essentials raw nibs. I’m wondering if they’ve had Salmonella poisoning given dog recall but don’t see anything re cat products and presumably they would have done ample testing in the wake of the dog food discovery but maybe not.


    • I would definitely have your kitties checked out! If they have a Salmonella infection it can be serotyped and matched to the food if necessary.

      If your cats are sick have the vet report this immediately to food safety officials, here: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm.

      I would NOT assume the food is pathogen free, in fact, I can almost assure you it is contaminated. That is the nature of raw meat in our industrialized system of agriculture. See my post on raw pet food: http://www.poisonedpets.com/raw-meat-pet-food-safety/


      • Thank you for your quick response. I haven’t brought them to a vet and they are not currently having symptoms. But I will assume that the bags I purchased are contaminated.


        • It’s probably safe to assume so, considering it is raw meat. It’s the degree of the contamination, the number of pathogens, the age and health of the animal eating it and many other factors to consider when taking the risk. It’s always something to consider – I’m not saying all raw food is bad – just be careful. I prefer an “almost raw” dehydrated human grade food for pets (heated to 160 F). But again, that’s just me. Feeding raw is a personal decision.


          • Thanks Mollie. Is there any commercially available food for cats that is as you describe? I bought the Vital dehydrated nibs on the recommendation of our holistic pet store which was very impressed by their operation. Pathogens no good though. I give them raw intended-for-humans goat milk so if I do organic canned food combined wtih that it might be nutritionally complete enough for two young healthy cats. Thanks for what you’re doing on your site!

          • The problem with Vital Essentials is it is made under pet food standards not human food standards, second, it is raw meat and it has not undergone any kill-step to destroy pathogens. That is the central problem with their products (in my opinion). I prefer a human edible dehydrated raw pet food that has undergone heat treatment (up to 160 F). But again – that’s just my opinion. It is not a recommendation, because there are many folks who are comfortable with feeding raw meat (whether made in a pet food plant or a human food plant). Personally, I wouldn’t do it. Primarily because the US meat industry is filthy. Read my post: http://www.poisonedpets.com/raw-meat-pet-food-safety/.

            As far as I am aware there is no certified organic pet food made under human food standards. I wish there were!

  2. Pingback: Vital Essentials Recalls Raw Dog Food For Salmonella Contamination, FDA Testing Discovers Pathogen | Poisoned Pets | Pet Food Safety News


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