Diamond pet food plant up and running, despite sickening report

The Diamond plant responsible for the largest pet food recall since 2007 is back in business today. The FDA gave it the thumbs up after Diamond gave it a good scrubbing.

Diamond Pet Foods resumed production at its troubled Gaston, S.C., plant after conducting a cleaning and testing operation at the facility, according to a U.S. government spokeswoman.

“It’s my understanding the company closed down and cleaned up the entire facility,” said Laura Alvey, spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

Diamond said earlier that it resumed production in Gaston the week of April 30. Despite the resumption of production, the cause of the contamination has still not been found, CVM has said.

Meanwhile, a volunteer with an Iowa animal rescue group has launched a petition drive urging Diamond to publicly release more information about the Gaston situation, including plant inspection reports, food test results, correspondence between Diamond and government officials, and a timeline of notifications to Diamond and Diamond’s response.

The petition states, “Consumers deserve to know: How did this program fail? When did Diamond learn of this failure? Did Diamond react responsibly or withhold information? How does Diamond track reports of adverse reactions to its food?”

The petitioner is requesting that Diamond release documents relevant to the recalls in particular plant inspection reports, food test results, correspondence between Diamond and public officials including the FDA and CDC, and a timeline of notifications to Diamond and Diamond’s response.

The petitioner suggests that if Diamond does not respond that Diamond’s clients should terminate their contracts and that retailers, such as Petco and Petsmart, should refuse to carry products.

Unfortunately, that is highly unlikely considering the industry’s pattern of subterfuge and secrecy. Transparency is a concept that has yet to be embraced by many within the industry.

Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food (TAPF), tired of the lack of honesty and transparency that for years has frustrated her efforts to obtain the truth, has launched a campaign that hopes to change that.

Pet food manufacturers have been invited to participate in transparency pledge.  Essentially, they are asked to provide the answers to questions that most consumers ask and deserve to know:  what the quality of the ingredients are and the country of origin of those ingredients that make up pet foods and treats.

Sounds like a reasonable request, but when requests were sent to 89 companies on April 1, of those, only FreshFetch, the Honest Kitchen, Lucky Dog Cuisine, Raw Health completed the Pledge of Quality and Origin thus far. To view their completed information go to Truth About Pet Food’s Pet Food Pledge page.

Meanwhile, TAPF has a list of a select few companies that make pet food that passed Susan’s stringent requirements before she gave them her thumbs-up. Personally, I trust TAPF’s thumbs-up and stamp of approval when making my pet food choices, and not the vague assurances of Diamond Pet Foods.

Related articles on Poisoned Pets

Your complete guide to the Diamond Pet Food recalls (poisonedpets.com)
RECALL: Diamond pet food crisis expands; contaminated pet food distributed in US and Canada (poisonedpets.com)
RECALL: Canidae recalls dog food made at Diamond’s troubled plant in Gaston, SC (poisonedpets.com)
Solid Gold added to Diamond’s massive recall; bringing the number of recalled brands to 13 (poisonedpets.com)
Third time’s the charm? Diamond Pet Foods recalls more dry dog food made at its troubled South Carolina plant (poisonedpets.com)
Multi-state outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infections linked to Diamond pet foods (poisonedpets.com)
RECALL: Diamond Pet Food expands recall; Chicken Soup for Pet Lovers Soul (poisonedpets.com)
RECALL Diamond Pet Foods Recalls Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Dog Food (poisonedpets.com)

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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 (25) Write a comment

  1. Pingback: Diamond Pet Food hit with first lawsuit, others sure to follow « Poisoned Pets

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  6. How come they don’t now where the contamination begin? I think. more dogs are getting sick because of this. I hope as soon as possible, they can find it.

    Reply

  7. My dog got sick april 15th. rushed to vet fever 104 and diarrhea. I have 3 bags here and two with food samples. It is the costco kirkland dog food. I did not know the food was made by diamond. Getting the big time run around from costco/diamond/fda. No the dog was not tested for salmonella because the recall was not even out yet. I also asked for inspection reports, and they noted my request. Yesterday I got a letter from diamond saying no dogs were sick. I don’t think I have the only sick dog. Doesd anyone know when that plant was last inspected? I also heard two more people also got the salmonells. I think the first person became sick Oct 7th. so that food has been out there for awhile. No dogs sick,right. If anyone knows how to deal with please let me know.
    Kathy and my Finnegan

    Reply

  8. Wait, wait, so they announced their recall only last Friday night (5-4-12), but by that point, the plant was going again already? Without having found the source?

    Oh, F that noise.

    Reply

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  10. I am pretty new to all this as you know but I have lots of experience of big business and it is going to be interesting to see what this does to Diamond’s performance. I know from personal connections it has pushed quite a few people to raw feeding so hopefully people will move away from Diamond in the right direction and not end up with better know brands like Purina etc *gags*

    Reply

    • That is my hope as well. It has to hurt not just Diamond, but the commercial pet food industry as a whole. Their handling of the recall has been very poor, but unfortunately typical of the industry.

      I think it is a clear indication that the industry cannot continue to hide behind subterfuge, that is, if they wish to keep any remaining trust consumers have in commercial pet food.

      Consumers deserve more than what they have been given – which, to me, has been nothing more than a slap in the face.

      Next time, it may be something allot more serious than Salmonella, should consumers have been kept in the dark about the depth of the problems at that plant for nearly a month, before the fourth and hopefully final recall? Of course not. But that is exactly what Diamond did. They lied to consumers. And they still aren’t talking. Diamond has given no explanation as to the cause of the contamination to the public. It is a disgrace.

      Reply

      • You can tell a lot about a company by how it handles an error.

        What upsets me with consumers is not the ones who know about this stuff and chose to feed it anyway (although I do feel sorry for their pets) but the people who genuinely believe the marketing bullcrap that is spewed out and honestly believe they are doing their best for their beloved pets when every day they are putting down poison.

        Reply

        • Tell me about it! That’s why I am on a mission. Do dispel the marketing myths and put a big ol’ cog in their wheel. I used to work in advertising for more years than I care to admit – so honey, I’m hip to their tricks. I had a saying (that I stole from a movie), “advertising is a parasitic profession that gets people to buy things they don’t need and can’t afford”. But in this case it’s allot more insidious than that, this is food. Pet food. And it’s lies, all lies.

          Reply

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  12. I can’t help but wonder what is wrong at that particular plant. The other plants don’t seem to have this problem. Location? I don’t know. Just seems odd if they produce the same food (and I am guessing the same recipe) at other plants but don’t have problems at those. Hmmm

    Reply

  13. Where is the protection our government is supposed to provide us tax payers? The agency given that responsibility is not working for us, but big corporations.It is almost like a big joke, if it were not at the expense of our beloved pets. What more can the FDA do to show us their priority is not the consumer. Where are our legislators? Doesn’t anyone watch the FDA? The evidence is so clear, Diamond Foods looks for the bottom line at the expence of the health of our pets and now clearly the health of us consumers. The salmonella came from the plant, the proof is DNA, and short of swabbing the entire plant and everything in it they can not be certain it is gone.
    Any of the list of pet food companies who continues with them is also suspect.

    Reply

    • Couldn’t agree with more there Pam! It is a disgrace to pet parents. I am glad we have two legislators going to bat for us — one is (my hero) Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Dennis Kuchinich. Like I said in the article the companies that continue to do biz with Diamond, in my book, don’t deserve our support. They should “come clean” – no pun intended. Meanwhile, complain, boycott, vote, sign the petitions, write letters, make phone calls and join the thousands of Americans who are saying, “We’re NOT buying it!!”

      Reply

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