RECALL: Canidae recalls dog food made at Diamond's troubled plant in Gaston, SC

Diamond Pet Food’s recall has grown legs and is off and running.

Four of  Canidae Dog formulas made at the troubled Diamond Pet Food plant in Gaston, South Carolina are being recalled. Canidae insists that the product has not tested positive for Salmonella, and that the company has “voluntarily initiated this recall out of caution to ensure the health and safety of consumers and their pets”.

The Canidae products “potentially” affected are:

Canidae Dog, All Life Stages
Canidae Dog, Chicken Meal & Rice
Canidae Dog, Lamb Meal & Rice
Canidae Dog, Platinum

The affected product with production codes that must have both a number “3” in the 9th or 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit with a best before dates of December 9, 2012, through January 31, 2013 which are being recalled. Example:

The recall affects only products distributed in the following Eastern U.S. states which were manufactured at the Diamond Pet Food Gaston, South Carolina plant. It is important to keep in mind that further distribution to other pet food channels may occur:

Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee

The CDC on the Salmonella Infantis outbreak

At least five people have been hospitalized because of the dog food, made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. It is too early to estimate how many others will be included in the outbreak as the reported illnesses on the CDC database continue to April 1, 2012.

“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.

It is important to realize that for every reported case of Salmonella poisoning, 29 cases go unreported. Potentially, there could be actually over 400 people sickened by coming into contact with the Salmonella contaminated product or with a pet who was infected with Salmonella. To find out more about the outbreak and Salmonella Infantitis, check out the CDC’s  information bulletin on the ‘Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food.

No sick dogs? Uh huh, yeah, tell me some more

Here’s what Canidae and the other pet food companies involved in the recall say: “we do not have any confirmed reports of pet illnesses”. Well don’t you believe it. Because no estimates on pet related illnesses are possible as there is no system in place to gather data on pet related illnesses or deaths.

So, when a company says there have been “no reported illnesses with any of our products” it is perhaps misleading at best and at worst disingenuous. It would be more accurate if they prefaced their declaration with a more truthful statement such as “we do not know of any reports of pet illnesses”, as companies have no way of knowing if a pet has become ill due to their product.  Unless a consumer or a vet happens to report the incident to the FDA or contact the company directly, the manufacturer cannot possibly state definitively whether pets have or have not been affected. And whether the reported incidents are made public is entirely up to the discretion of the FDA and the manufacturer.

What symptoms to watch for in pets

Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting and be at risk for dying from dehydration. 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, you should contact your veterinarian.

So, what’s the big deal with Salmonella?

It may or may not be a big deal to you or your pet, save for the exception of a vulnerable segment of the human population: children, the elderly and the immune compromised. Regardless, anyone handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella according to the CDC, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands with soap and hot water, immediately after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product or having contact with a pet infected with Salmonella.

Also, be aware that dogs may be infected with Salmonella – and may shed the bacteria in their stool – without showing any outward symptoms of illness. If your pet has consumed a one of the recalled pet foods dry dog food, be especially careful to wash your hands after handling it, and supervise closely any interaction between children and your pet. As the products being recalled “have the potential” of Salmonella contamination, it is important to use care in handling them.

Healthy people who believe they may have been exposed to Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the CDC, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer and the elderly.

What should you do if your pet is affected by the recall?

Besides scream?

Pet parents who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like a replacement product or a refund, may contact Canidae Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-800-398-1600, Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm PST. Consumers may also go to for more information.

Report the problem to the FDA and if you believe your pet became ill as a result of eating a recalled pet food. If your pet was seen by a veterinarian, your vet should report the issue to the FDA as well.

See sticky post on the home page of Poisoned Pets for complete details on how to report a problem with a pet food to the FDA.

Related articles

A MUST SEE resource: The complete, consolidated & updated guide to the Diamond Pet Food recalls!(, May 4, 2012 UPDATED: May 5, 2012)
Third time’s the charm? Diamond Pet Foods recalls more dry dog food made at its troubled South Carolina plant (
RECALL Diamond Pet Foods Recalls Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Dog Food (
RECALL: Diamond pet food crisis expands; contaminated pet food distributed in US and Canada (
Multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infections linked to Diamond pet foods (
RECALL: Diamond Pet Food expands recall; Chicken Soup for Pet Lovers Soul (
Additional Information on How to Report a Problem with Pet Food (

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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.