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Bravo recalls raw pet food for Salmonella; puzzling questions remain

Bravo announced a recall today for a limited amount of one of their raw pet foods for the possibility of Salmonella contamination.

It began when Bravo! was notified by the Colorado State Department of Agriculture that a 2 lb. chub of their Bravo Chicken Blend tested positive for the possible presence of Salmonella.

The case of the curiously old chub

While we should applaud our state government for doing all they can to keep consumers safe from pathogens, it boggles the mind why they would bother testing a product that is unlikely to be in anyone’s home any longer.

Bravo’s founder, Dave Bogner, said in a statement today, that “the likelihood of your having affected product at home is highly unlikely, as this product was made in November of 2014.”

The recall notice states that the product was sold between November 21, 2014 and January 15, 2015 and had a best use by date of November 13, 2016.

Despite that the product is unlikely to be in anyone’s home, unless they have a fondness for hanging on to food with freezer burn, Bogner pointed to a sinister explanation for the apparent persecution of his company:

“It should not come as a surprise that this recall is in response to the FDA’s Zero Tolerance Policy to pathogens innately found in raw pet foods.”

Raw pet food makers: Victims of persecution or just sketchy food peddlers?

While no food safety system is infallible, it should be noted that Bravo employs a hold-test-release procedure in which their pet foods tested negative for the presence of Salmonella by an independent USDA/FDA accredited third party lab prior to distribution.

According to Bravo, “Every batch is held until all tests for E. coli 0157:H7, listeria monocytogenes and salmonella come back negative and are properly recorded.”

Additionally, since the FDA deployed its “Zero Tolerance” to pathogens policy, in which the agency focused their efforts on raw pet food manufacturers, Bravo made two important changes to their food safety protocol.

Valiant struggle for pathogen control

Specifically, last year Bravo began using a novel food safety pathogen control program involving the use of bacteriophages (or “phages”). In addition, they made the difficult decision to utilize High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) in the production of their raw product, a method of processing that virtually eliminates the possibility of pathogens, as an added safety measure.

Yet, despite Bravo’s extensive food safety measures, somehow a pathogen managed to slip through the net. Which brings us to today’s recalls.

The following product is being voluntarily recalled because of the possible presence of Salmonella.

Product Item # Size Best Used by Date UPC
Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – chub 21-102 2 lb.(32oz.) chub 11-13-16 829546211028

Out of an abundance of caution, Bravo is also recalling three additional items that did not test positive for Salmonella, but were manufactured in the same facility on the same day as the product that tested positive.

Product Item # Size Best Used by Date UPC
Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – chub 21-105 5 lb. (90 oz.) chub 11-13-16 829546211059
Bravo Blend Turkey diet for dogs & cats – patties 31-508 5 lb. bag of 8 oz. patties 11-13-16 8829546315085
Bravo Balance Turkey diet for dogs – patties 31-401 3 lb. bag of 4 oz. patties 11-13-16 829546314019

Salmonellosis in humans

While the company has received no reports to date of illness in either people or animals associated with these products, it is important to know that Salmonella can cause serious illness or fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Although healthy people may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

Salmonellosis in dogs and cats

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.

For more information

To learn more about how Bravo’s pathogen control process, visit this page. Additionally, Bravo included in the recall several informative guides for consumers:

  • Click here – For the Recall Press Release
  • Click here – Recall Claim Form for Pet Owners and Instructions
  • Click here – For FAQs About this Recall and Salmonella

Instructions for consumers

  • 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 should return to the store where they purchased the product and submit the Bravo Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website:, for a full refund or store credit.
  • More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact Bravo at or call them at 866-922-9222 (8 am to 4 pm – EST) to talk to a Bravo Associate.

letter from Bravo

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

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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.

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