FDA Alerts Public After Pet Food Made Kittens Sick and Tested Positive for Salmonella

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat food after samples from those lots tested positive for Salmonella .

The FDA recommended that Arrow Reliance Inc. voluntarily recall these products and notify the public, but the company did not.

There is a risk for humans to handle contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after coming into contact with the products or any surface exposed to these products.

These foods have been associated with illness in three kittens from the same household.

The products are manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and are sold online directly to consumers.

Because these products are sold and stored frozen, the FDA is concerned that people may still have them and feed them to their pets.

Products subject to alert:

  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic and Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9116, Manufactured May 2, 2022.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Grain-Free Antibiotic-Free Turkey Recipe for Cats, Lot 9121, Manufactured May 4, 2022.
  • The products are sold in white and transparent plastic packaging with blue and green labeling. Each package weighs two pounds and consists of four separate units. Lot codes are located on the lower left front unit of the packaging.

The FDA collected and analyzed unopened samples of product from these two lots after receiving a report of illness in three kittens from the same household who had consumed food and developed diarrhea. A stool sample from one of the kittens tested positive for Salmonella. A fourth kitten didn’t eat the food and didn’t get sick.

Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella in both products revealed that the turkey product contained Salmonella Typhimurium, while the chicken product contained Salmonella Typhimurium and Kentucky.

Consumers who have any of the two Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections cat foods listed above should stop giving it to their pets and dispose of it in a secure container where other animals, including wild animals , cannot access it.

Consumers who have had this product at home should clean refrigerators/freezers where product has been stored and clean and sanitize all bowls, utensils, food preparation surfaces, pet litter, litter boxes, toys, floors and any other surface on which the food or animal may have come into contact with.

Clean up animal droppings in areas where people or other animals may be exposed. Consumers should wash their hands thoroughly after handling any pet food product or after cleaning potentially contaminated items and surfaces.

About Salmonella Infections in Pets
Pets do not always show symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs may include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If an animal exhibits these symptoms, owners should see a veterinarian promptly. Consumers should also be aware that infected animals can shed the bacteria in their feces without showing signs of illness.

Pet food contaminated with Salmonella are of particular public health importance because they can affect human and animal health, according to the FDA. Pets can get sick from Salmonella and can also carry the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing sick. The FDA is aware of cases in which humans and/or animals have become ill from exposure to pet food contaminated with Salmonella.

Since animals can shed the bacteria when they have a bowel movement, it is especially important to clean up animal feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may be exposed, in addition to clean items at home.

About Salmonella infections in humans
Human or animal food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste bad. Anyone can get a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has come into contact with any of the recalled products and develops symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctor about possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria, as special tests are needed to diagnose salmonellosis. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can mimic other illnesses, often leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, the diarrhea can be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized.

The elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop serious illness and serious, sometimes fatal, conditions.

Some people are infected without getting sick or showing symptoms. However, they can still transmit the infections to others.

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