Natura Recall: California Natural, Innova, EVO, Innova, Healthwise Pet Foods for Salmonella Contamination


Natura Pet Products is recalling its California Natural, Innova, EVO, and Healthwise dry dog, cat, and ferret pet foods due to Salmonella contamination. Natura was “alerted” to the presence of Salmonella bacteria in EVO Turkey & Chicken dry cat food by the FDA.

Natura Pet Products, now owned by Procter & Gamble, announced in a press release on Monday that it “pains us to inform you of the first recall in our company’s 21-year history.” Actually, the history they refer to is not their own, but one that Procter & Gamble purchased in 2010. What seems sadder is that Natura’s unblemished history should come an abrupt end following its purchase by P&G, who owns the Iams and Eukanuba brands pet foods.

You got to hand it P&G though, one thing they do know how to do and that’s how to write a press release. In fact, I’d give this press release an award, because it’s a doozie. You may wish to keep a hanky handy should you begin to feel a bit verklemmt.

Dear Natura Family,

As pet parents and dedicated pet health advocates, it pains us to inform you of the first recall in our company’s 21-year history.

During a recent random sampling, the FDA confirmed the presence of salmonella in one of our products. We take this extremely seriously, because your pets are like ours – they’re part of the family – and we aren’t taking any chances. As a result, we have voluntarily recalled a number of our products as a precautionary measure. Fortunately, there have been no reported animal or human health issues associated with these products, and we have confirmed that this is not a widespread issue.

Natura was founded on the commitment to provide the healthiest natural pet food in the world. As Natura employees who live this commitment every day, words cannot express our disappointment with this finding. We place quality as the cornerstone of our products. It is a process of ongoing improvement, and we will continually review and raise these standards. Unfortunately, salmonella and other contaminants pose a great challenge to the food industry, and no company is immune.

We want to assure you, our valued customers, that we are more committed than ever to animal and human safety. We have fully investigated and identified the cause of this incident. Our production is ongoing, and you can continue to feed any Natura products outside of this incident with confidence.

We know that trust is earned. This incident further fuels our passionate commitment to your pet’s health and safety. We promise to demonstrate this commitment through our actions now and in the future.

Click here for details on the recall products. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at (800) 224-6123.


Employees of Natura Pet Products


Please download this PDF to see which products are affected by the recall: View Affected Products (PDF)

Who me, worry?

The Centers for Disease Control thinks you should. When it comes to Salmonellosis, a nasty bug that can affect you as well as your furry members of the household, the CDC wants you to know that it is not something to dismiss as hype or hogwash: It’s nasty!

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Now, not only does that sound frightfully inconvenient, but downright dangerous to boot!

In these poor, unfortunate patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Now I’ll bet that’s not something you ever thought you could get from a pet food, I’ll wager.

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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 (6) Write a comment

  1. I sold pet food for 30 years beginning in the 1980’s, and have had hours and hours of nutrition training, and feedback from customers about their pets. Sadly, entropy has set into the pet food “industry”. There are so many angles from which you can approach how food affects an animals health, and studies usually reflect only part of the picture. All of them should be taken with a grain of salt, and the knowledge gleaned from them tempered by experience and further investigation.
    For instance, the premise that cat urinary health is almost solely based upon whether a food is dry or not is definitely only one piece of the pie, and its size of that pie can be affected by other factors. For 10 years, I personally saw many cats who were on a wet prescription diet only suffer horribly. I am not going to name brands, not meaning to debate, but there was a dry food available at the time whose nutrition was based upon the studies that showed reducing magnesium in cat food drastically reduced struvite/crystal formation. Yet, you never hear about that any more, and most companies don’t even list magnesium on their guaranteed analysis anymore.Tuna has just about the highest magnesium levels of any protein available to cat diets, yet it is the most predominant “flavor” available in wet foods today.
    Another issue with cats is gum health. Studies have definitively shown that bacteria in gums travel throughout the bloodstreams of many species. If I had known this, I would have spent more of my veterinary dollars on doing “dentals”, and may have prolonged my cats life and kept him from suffering such severe asthma and gradual kidney death from the steroids that kept the coughing at bay. A diet composed only of wet food is awful for the teeth, especially in breeds such as the Siamese which are prone to “bad” teeth, which can contribute to or be a cause of asthma in cats.
    A pet peeve of mine right now involves the shape of cat food. You almost can’t find a dry cat food that isn’t a tiny pellet or beebee. I can’t think of a WORSE shape for cats. So many people wouldn’t have to search for foods for “sensitive” stomachs if their cats could eat a kibble they could actually crunch and chew with their teeth, rather than wolf down whole and then regurgitate. Not to mention the constipation caused by the blob of dry semi-digestible food stuck in their gut;.
    My personal opinion is that Natura foods were founded on great science provided by scientists who pioneered pet nutrition for people who wanted the best for their cats and dogs, etc., when “leftover” commodities were the prevailing base for available foods. People still want the best, which is why pet “nutrition” has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, that industry is now dominated by corporate giants such as P&G. Pretty much everything you see available is based upon marketing, and only marginal science. It does not surprise me at all that the demise of this good thing happened like it did. I think destroying the competition the way they did backfired a bit, though. Seems to me I recently heard the negative backlash has caused P&G to decide to get out of the pet food “business” to concentrate on the things they “know best”. Now if only the same would happen to ConAgra, Del Monte, Cargill and Nestle (who, by the way, happen to own not only the majority of “premium” brands, but also control the commodities market of grains, fruits & vegetables, for the foreseeable future, as well as the majority of available protein sources for ALL pet foodstuffs). And lets not forget the fact that they all have business relationships with Monsanto to some extent (using truly organic vegetable/fruit sources would take up too much of the profits).
    In all, the pet food availability is rather depressing right now, given these factors. The good news is that SOMEBODY has a huge gap to step into, and begin producing something really good again. I wonder who will be the next pioneers?


  2. Pingback: Expanded Natura Pet Food Recall Hurts P&G's Global Market - Poisoned Pets

  3. Pingback: Natura orders recall on all Innova, California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma pet foods, treats - Poisoned Pets

  4. I agree that a lot of pet food is not safe. I have issues, however, with Susan Thixton’s (Truth About Pet Food) recommendations or those on Consumer Reports about “the best cat food” to buy as they don’t look at what is best from a species-appropriate and nutrition point of view.

    While they have the opinion that kibble provides the best value, those who have researched this, like the non-profit Feline Nutrition Education Society (, Feline Outreach, Little Big, and vets like Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins (“Pet Food: A dog’s Breakfast”, Your Diabetic, etc) and Dr. Lisa Pierson on her non-commercial site agree that kibble, even prescription dry foods, will make many cats sick.

    This has also been the experience of many cat owners, like myself. If nothing else, cat owners really should see Opie’s story on Dr. Pierson’s page on Urinary Tract Health if they don’t realize the importance of a wet or balanced raw diet on the health of their cats –

    We also need to prevent diabetes – it’s becoming an epidemic and it doesn’t need to be. Some vets out there are claiming that it’s the calories in food and not the carbohydrates that are important.

    More educated vets can assure you that carbohydrates and cats do not go together. Feeding a high carb food will result in many, many cats who are sick with diabetes, IBS, obesity, and more.

    Our friend’s cat became diabetic after they fed him prescription weight loss food. The cat was weak, had trouble climbing stairs so was going to the bathroom on the floor. The were going to have him killed but agreed to give him to us instead. Since I was familiar with info from above sites, I knew the symptoms of diabetes and knew most cases were “curable”.

    We had the cat’s lab work done and confirmed he was diabetic. I connected with an independent diabetes coach from a clinic in the U.S. and started the cat on the tight regulation protocol, with small amounts of insulin, home testing, weight monitoring, and the right amount of low carb canned food from the pet supply store.

    We were able to get the cat into remission in six days, meaning he no longer needed insulin. Apparently most diabetic cats can achieve remission and be maintained on low-carb canned food and weekly monitoring of weight and blood glucose like we do at home. The cat is a healthy weight and very active, having regained enough muscle that he now gets on the kitchen counter. He has never had any litter box issues and is an amazing, friendly guy.

    The bottom line is he – and thousands of other cats – are ending up sick, but it’s preventable. Many are not getting the treatment they need and are either being killed or are being kept in an unhealthy, unnecessary diabetic state. It would be interesting to have exact numbers but I don’t know if vets or vet associations have to report that information.

    Even feline weight loss is pretty easy using the properly calculated and weighed out amount of quality, low carb canned or balanced raw food. Vets would have pet owners believe it’s difficult, but it isn’t.

    It’s not just pet food safety, but the type of food that is vitally important, especially for cats.


    • I agree with you 100% Chris. In fact, my very reason for beginning my research into pet food was my cat Blackie’s near death experience with FUS. I found that it was dry kibble was to blame. More research into pet food in general led to my awakening and consequently the birth of Poisoned Pets.

      I also highly recommend the sources you mentioned as well.

      I personally feed a homemade raw food diet to my cats (all eight).

      Your assessment of kibble and the associated diseases is the reason I, and others, should avoid kibble at all costs – especially if you have cats.

      Thanks Chris!


  5. My cat almost died after eating from a contaminated bag of Evo cat food, Chicken and Turkey Formula. We did not know until today, after he has been being treated for several weeks, about this recall! Thank goodness he seems to be doing fine now. Our vet was wonderful and supported us every step of the way. He was vomiting, could not keep food down, had inflamed intestines, and required an overnight stay to stabilize him. I hope that something is being done about this.

    Proctor & Gamble bought Innova…So of course this is happening now. I should have listened to my gut and switched brands after the buyout, but you don’t expect it from a brand of food that costs approx. $50 for 15 lbs!



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