Vital Essentials Recalls Raw Dog Food For Salmonella Contamination, FDA Testing Discovers Pathogen

Carnivore Meat Company, the makers of Vital Essentials raw pet food, is recalling two raw dog food products after the FDA tested confirmed the dog food was contaminated with Salmonella. The company wrote in an email they are taking the “extraordinary caution” of announcing the voluntary recall for two products that “may have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella”, admitting that the issue was discovered when the FDA tested the dog food for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and it came back positive for Salmonella.

This recall follows an earlier recall in late February of another Vital Essentials dog food product for Salmonella contamination.

The dog food was distributed in the U.S. through independent retailers and online through Chewys.com and Amazon.com.

The two recalled raw dog food products are as follows:

  • Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers
    6 oz. (170 g) package size
    Best by date:  06/04/2019, 06/20/2019
    Lot #:  13815
    Product UPC:  033211006059
  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs
    5 lb. (2.27 kg) package size
    Best by date: 12/27/18
    Lot #: 13816
    Product UPC:  033211008817

WHAT’S WRONG WITH SALMONELLA

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.

The most common type of salmonellosis infection is the carrier state, in which infected animals carry the pathogen for a variable period without showing any clinical signs. Clinical disease is characterized by two major syndromes: systemic septicemia (also termed as typhoid) and enteritis. Other less common clinical presentations include abortion, arthritis, respiratory disease, necrosis of extremities, and meningitis.

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.

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.

HOW TO CONTACT THE COMPANY

Consumers should discard the products safely in a covered trash receptacle. You may notify your retailer for a replacement or refund. If you have a complaint about their food you can download and fill out a complaint form and email it back to customerservice@vitalessentialsraw.com. If you have questions, please contact the company online or call them toll-free at 800-743-0322 or call 920-370-6542.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU A PROBLEM

If you believe your pet has become ill from consuming this or any other pet food, please provide the FDA with valuable information by reporting it electronically through their Safety Reporting Portal or call your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

If you and your veterinarian think a pet food or treat is the source of a problem – save it – because your state agricultural or veterinary diagnostic lab may want to do testing. If you need more help, find out how to report a pet food complaint to the FDA.

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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 (2) Write a comment

  1. I bought a package of Newman’s Own dog treats (turkey and sweet potato flavor) for my dog recently, and the day after he started eating them he threw up at 11:30am and was dead by 4pm that afternoon. X-rays and Ultrasound showed no blockages or foreign bodies. With what I’ve been reading about Phorate pesticides associated with sweet potato treats from a China, could this chemical somehow be responsible? (The package states “made in Canada”) Could you recommend a lab for testing these treats? Are these treats really produced in Canada? There is also some abnormal lab values regarding his blood work as well, I could really use some advice on how to proceed, or referrals to organizations who can help me answer these questions.

    Reply

    • I’d be happy to help. But first, let me say how sorry I am for your loss.

      You are correct to be worried about phorate. I would call and ask Newman’s where they source their sweet potatoes from. If they buy from the broker, ask them where does the broker obtain them from (which country). They should not be from China – but it’s best to make sure.

      Next, I would have the treats tested. Your vet will need to speak to the toxicologist at the lab beforehand. I recommend Michigan State University: http://www.animalhealth.msu.edu/Sections/Toxicology/ for testing. As far as abnormal lab work – it is best that your vet discuss them with the toxicologist.

      When you know more please have your vet report the matter to the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm. It is extremely important that this is done.

      Reply

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