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Diamond Pet Foods Recalls: Consumers Want Answers

What pet owners don’t know about the details of the Diamond Pet Foods recalls is a lot! And they are now demanding answers – from the manufacturer, from companies like Natural Balance, and from retailers.

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One frustrated animal lover – Erich Riesenberg of Iowa Pet Adoptions - has created a petition on Change.org, seeking answers to the following questions:

- How did Diamond’s quality assurance program fail to prevent, or at least detect, the Salmonella contamination?

- When did Diamond first learn of the failure?

- Did Diamond withhold information?

- How does Diamond track reports of adverse reactions to its food?

The petition also asks for the release of plant inspection records, food test results, correspondence between Diamond and public officials, and a timeline of notifications.

To read the petition and, if you are so inclined, to add your name to the list of signees, follow this link.

Meanwhile, what do we know?

1. We know that at least 14 people have become ill with Salmonella Infantis infections. All 14 individuals were infected with a single genetic strain; that same strain was found in samples of dry dog food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina.

2. We know that a massive quantity of dry pet food – including some cat food, by the way – was recalled. Please follow this link for a consolidated list of recalled products.

3. We know, courtesy of Laura Alvey, spokesperson for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, that there have not been any confirmed cases of Salmonella-related dog illness associated with the recalled products. Alvey has acknowledged that FDA received an unspecified number of complaints of dog illnesses related to recalled product; however, these cases were not medically confirmed.

4. We know, thanks to an eFoodAlert reader, that at least one batch of recalled Taste of the Wild dry dog food was distributed in France. Alvey also confirmed that Diamond Pet Foods ships product “all over the world.”

What consumers can do:

- Check your supply of pet food to see whether it is affected by the recall. If it is on the recall list, either throw it away or return the unused portion to the retailer.

- If you have handled one of the recalled products and you develop symptoms of Salmonella (stomach ache, diarrhea, etc), seek immediate medical attention and mention the possible link to pet food.

- If your dog or cat was fed one of the recalled products and develops symptoms of gastrointestinal illness (vomiting or diarrhea), seek immediate veterinary attention. Ask your veterinarian to test your pet for Salmonella. If the test is positive, you or your veterinarian should contact FDA immediately to have the unused portion of the pet food tested.

- Review the FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treats, and follow its recommendations to keep your family and your pets safe.

- Monitor eFoodAlert’s Diamond Pet Foods, Etc. Recalls – 2012 page. It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Above all, 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 Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food, be especially careful to wash your hands after handling the animal, and supervise closely any interaction between children and your pet.

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Originally posted May 7, 2012 by eFoodAlert. Reposted with permission.

© Food Safety News
  • Julie Roohi

    The reason there are no “confirmed” cases of pets being poisoned is because Diamond is requiring evidence of the specific strain of Salmonella. Anyone who’s dog was poisoned likely did not scoop up the poop and have it tested…this is in fact what they are requiring in order to have a confirmed case. Both my dogs were sickened by this food and I am beyond positive that the food was the reason. They began getting sick within one week of opening the new bag. I happened to collect their poop and have had it tested. I will likely be their first confirmed case. The sad part is that although a lot of other dogs were sickened I’m SURE, they will not admit it unless you can prove it through laboratory testing. Who has access to poop from days, weeks or months ago??? Not an easy thing to prove and Diamond KNOWS that! They are playing a sleasy game of denial even though they’ve openly admitted the contamination. What a bunch of dirtbags.

  • Gina

    I have a cat in the vet right now with possible salmonella. We had a contaminated bag. His stool is being cultured.

  • Kyle Waters

    I’ll put money on it that their food safety Manager is the “fall Guy”. Its takes total commitment from Top Management to keep those places clean. Thats the same plant that killed a bunch of dogs from failing to do their routine aflatoxin tests. they should have caught this. according to the article they were shipping to EU nations which require Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae testing. I’ll also bet they didn’t outsource those lab tests and performed them inhouse. Owners don’t want to wait for lab results so they buy “kits” and have untrained people in an unaccredited lab “perform” the tests, so they can have the proper ppwk to get through customs.
    Several products have been recalled so its likely their contamination happened after extrusion. These facilities really should invest in a sanitation program validated by environmental testing.
    Unfortunately its on the owners to stop cutting corners on quality and food Safety. I’ve met many plant managers. They won’t invest in these programs until consumers and retailers push them to. The Government never gets involved until someone gets hurt. Trust me this could have easily been prevented with a small investment.

  • Vicki

    I have lost ALL faith in Diamonds. I will never again purchase ANY food they produce! Their credibility is in the toilet permanently now. This isn’t the 1st time Diamond’s has had a recall, & as far as I’m concerned thay can no longer be trusted. I want to know how long they knew about this, before they decided to alert us consumers!
    Just goes to show you they care more about their “bottom line”, than they do about an animals health & safety. There are other cat & dog food brands out there that are grain free, holistic, & organic; as well as the ones that aren’t, that have never had any food safety issues. I’ve already found 2 brands I’ve switched to.

  • Tricia Carter

    I personally have lost all faith in Diamonds products as well, We will no longer be purchasing there food either.

  • Debbie Churchill

    The big problem is this: Diamond is a huge independent manufacturer for private labels, including Costco & every grocery store known to man! I have personally toured the Lathrop, CA plant and was surprised to see all the brands they produce dogfood for! I would like to be able to read a list of brands that they make , and decide NOT to feed any of them!!!

  • amanda

    My dog just passed away on the 12th of May. The ER stated that every single symptom pointed to poisoning from this food. They are as positive as they can be with out having tests done to show it. They said they would be in contact with the fda but I’m unsure of whether they sent a stool sample or not but I will find out when I speak to them again. I saved some of the food and also plan to contact the fda unless the vet wants to send it off. I suggest to just change brands and never use this food again.

  • http://www.foodsafetynews.com/contributors/mary-rothschild/ mrothschild

    The FDA and CDC advise that pet food that has been recalled should be assumed to be contaminated and does not need to be tested.
    However, the FDA urges veterinarians and consumers to report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state, or electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.

  • http://www.foodsafetynews.com/contributors/mary-rothschild/ Mary Rothschild

    The FDA and CDC advise that pet food that has been recalled should be assumed to be contaminated and does not need to be tested.
    However, the FDA urges veterinarians and consumers to report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state, or electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal.

  • Elizabeth Baxter

    When a company has had a recall due to poisons in their food, one recall is one too many. People should stay away from all the brands Diamond Pet Foods makes because again and again they have had recalls/problems. Their quality control clearly stinks as bad as their food!
    Not a good company! Clue number 1 should have been, how can one pet food plant make “high quality” “holistic” food and crappy food at the same time? It’s all crap to me.
    Hope no more animals or people get sick. The best food is homemade with the appropriate vitamins and minerals, especially raw. You can’t trust these pet food companies!

  • Ty Lee Weightman

    Remember in 1993 when Jack in the Box had that huge e coli scare, many got extremely sick and some died (they did a real quick 360 degree safty restructure, they are now the safest place to get a hambergur, and have been for over 10 years, a scare like this caused them to realize that people’s life’s are at risk and inturned took and currently take extra procautions to prevent such crisis). Well Diamond Pet Foods has been improving their plants and operations, and are dedicated to the health of the pets who eat their food and their owners.