Rad Cat Raw Food Recalled for Dangerous Bacteria; False + Misleading Human-Grade Claims Revisited

Three varieties of Rad Cat Raw Diet cat foods are being recalled from 48 U.S. states and Western Canada because they might be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, posing a health hazard to humans and pets.

Lab tests confirmed Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in samples of the cat food from Radagast Pet Food Inc. of Portland, OR, according to the company’s recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website.

“The FDA third party contracted lab found two lots of (Rad Cat Raw Diet) Grass-Fed Beef tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, one lot of Free-range Chicken tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and one lot of Free-range Turkey tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the notice posted Thursday night.

HOW’S THAT WORKING FOR YOU?

Rad Cat explains that they also employ the use of a “third-party lab to test for Aerobic Plate Count, Salmonella, E.coli O157:H7,” and when the results are confirmed negative, “we then take the lot off of hold for release to our distribution partners.” So, even though Rad Cat claims that they regularly test their environment for pathogens and “cleanliness,” which includes “testing all of their equipment for Salmonella, E.coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes,” the FDA found evidence to the contrary.

THE DANGER OF INFECTIOUS BACTERIA

The infection-causing bacteria can affect animals eating the products and pose a risk to people who handle the products, especially if they don’t thoroughly wash their hands and any surfaces or utensils that come into contact with the pet food.

WHAT’S BEING RECALLED

A variety of sizes and package styles of the Rad Cat Raw Diet pet foods are covered by the recall, including free 1-ounce sample cups as well as  8, 16 and 24-ounce tubs.

The recall covers four lot codes: 62384, 62361, 62416 and 62372. Specific best-by dates in 2017 for the recalled lots and various product sizes are available in the recall notice. Consumers can find the date codes on the lids of the cat food tubs and on the bottom of the sample cups.

Radagast Pet Food Inc. distributed the implicated cat food in Western Canada and all U.S. states except Hawaii and Mississippi.

HAZ-MAT CLEAN UP TIME

Radagast company officials are urging consumers to dispose of the recalled cat food “in a secure garbage receptacle” and thoroughly wash any pet bowls, utensils or surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled cat food.

WARNING! WHY THIS FOOD IS BEING RECALLED

Anyone who has handled the recalled pet food and develops symptoms of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes infections should seek medical attention. Salmonella symptoms usually develop within two to eight days, but Listeria monocytogenes can take up to 70 days before causing symptoms.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the recalled products and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately!

WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS OF INFECTION

Salmonella symptoms in humans include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms.

Pets with Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

MORE ORGANIC + HUMAN GRADE CLAIMS

Rad Cat claims their food is made with the “finest human-grade meat and organic ingredients,” and in addition to the meat, their other ingredients are “completely human-grade and are organic wherever possible.”

Even though the company claims their products are “produced in our own certified and inspected manufacturing facility” and contain meats that are “USDA-inspected,” and are the “same meats found at your finest natural food stores,” they still may not be human edible. Unless the food is processed under USDA inspection at a human food facility, they cannot – and should not – make these claims.

One surefire way of cutting through the human-edible baloney is to verify the authenticity of these claims by going to the USDA Official Establishment Database. I did a check, and Radagast or Rad Cat is not listed in the USDA database of facilities under inspection, despite their assurances that their food is processed under USDA inspection. After numerous telephone calls to the company (it went straight to voicemail), the USDA and the Oregon state department of agriculture, their claims could not be verified.

They do, however, hold a license in Oregon as an Animal Food Processor.

WINNING ENDORSEMENT OR WORRISOME QUALIFICATION? YOU DECIDE.

The founders of Rad Cat include a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist – “with years of experience in nutritional, science, and medical studies”  – while the other founder is a certified accountant and a software developer, with a “background in the natural foods industry.”

CONSUMER CLAIMS: REFUNDS + RETURNS

“For refund claims, fill out all sections of our Consumer Claims Form which can be found on our website www.RadFood.com and return this form only to the retailer where you purchased the product for a refund. Consumers may call Radagast Pet Food Inc. for assistance in filling out the Claim Form,” according to the recall notice.

CONTACTS

Radagast Pet Food, Inc., 3617 SE 17th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97202; Phone: 503-736-4649.

Skip Navigation LinksOregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division, 635 Capitol St NE., Salem, OR 97301; Phone: 503-986-4720

SOURCE: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm508394.htm

UPDATE: To Rad Cat, I was sorry to interrupt your rant midstream, but if you could just send me documents that validate your company’s claims that it is under any sort of inspection, that would be great. Just don’t call me again.  Cheers!

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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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