Vital Essentials Recalls Raw Dog Food For Salmonella Contamination, FDA Testing Discovers Pathogen

Carnivore Meat Company, the makers of Vital Essentials raw pet food, is recalling two raw dog food products after the FDA tested confirmed the dog food was contaminated with Salmonella. The company wrote in an email they are taking the “extraordinary caution” of announcing the voluntary recall for two products that “may have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella”, admitting that the issue was discovered when the FDA tested the dog food for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and it came back positive for Salmonella.

This recall follows an earlier recall in late February of another Vital Essentials dog food product for Salmonella contamination.

The dog food was distributed in the U.S. through independent retailers and online through and

The two recalled raw dog food products are as follows:

  • Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers
    6 oz. (170 g) package size
    Best by date:  06/04/2019, 06/20/2019
    Lot #:  13815
    Product UPC:  033211006059
  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs
    5 lb. (2.27 kg) package size
    Best by date: 12/27/18
    Lot #: 13816
    Product UPC:  033211008817


Salmonella can affect animals eating the products, and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

The most common type of salmonellosis infection is the carrier state, in which infected animals carry the pathogen for a variable period without showing any clinical signs. Clinical disease is characterized by two major syndromes: systemic septicemia (also termed as typhoid) and enteritis. Other less common clinical presentations include abortion, arthritis, respiratory disease, necrosis of extremities, and meningitis.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. 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, please contact your veterinarian.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.


Consumers should discard the products safely in a covered trash receptacle. You may notify your retailer for a replacement or refund. If you have a complaint about their food you can download and fill out a complaint form and email it back to If you have questions, please contact the company online or call them toll-free at 800-743-0322 or call 920-370-6542.


If you believe your pet has become ill from consuming this or any other pet food, please provide the FDA with valuable information by reporting it electronically through their Safety Reporting Portal or call your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

If you and your veterinarian think a pet food or treat is the source of a problem – save it – because your state agricultural or veterinary diagnostic lab may want to do testing. If you need more help, find out how to report a pet food complaint to the FDA.


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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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