In a public safety alert, the US Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food after samples tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).
The alert is being issued because two samples finished product collected during a routine inspection of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made manufacturing facility tested positive for Salmonella and L. mono. According to the alert, “Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis and L. mono.”
FDA is issuing this alert because these lots of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food represent “a serious threat to human and animal health.”
– If you have either of the product varieties listed and cannot determine the lot code, FDA recommends that you exercise caution and throw the product away.
– If you have any of the affected product, stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
– You should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.
– Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home.
– You should thoroughly wash your hands after handling the affected product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
– Retailers, distributors, and other operators who have offered the affected products for sale should wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where the products were stored.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED
Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are pregnant, very young, very old, or have weak immune systems.
Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites. Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea; anorexia; fever; nervous, muscular and respiratory signs; abortion; depression; shock; and death.
L. mono infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn. L. mono infections are uncommon in pets, but they are possible. Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea; anorexia; fever; nervous, muscular and respiratory signs; abortion; depression; shock; and death.
The alert warns that “Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass L. mono on to their human companions. As with Salmonella, infected pets can shed L. mono in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.”
The alert also mentions that, “Although FDA is not aware of a documented case of a person acquiring L. mono infection from a pet food, once Salmonella or L. mono get established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination may continue to spread.”
IF YOU ARE WORRIED
If you think you have symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection, consult your health care provider. People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella or L. mono infection may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network if the pet is from a household with a person infected.
FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING
Seldom does a day pass when a pet parent asks me what should I feed my pet? The answer isn’t as simple as they would like it to be, because to their disappointment, I don’t recommend brands.
For the simple reason I don’t want to have a conflict of interest.
What’s that you say?
Well, it means that I can’t have relationships – whether financial, professional or personal – with a pet food company. If I did, then I couldn’t remain objective. Instead, I depend on you, dear readers, for support.
Please give – even if it’s a small donation – to help independent reporting like you read on Poisoned Pets continue.