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Dog food recalled for Salmonella; two children confirmed sick

Raws for Paws is recalling recalled 4,000 pounds of its  Ground Turkey Pet Food due to possible Salmonella contamination after reported illnesses, including two children who have been infected with Salmonella Reading.

The food is sold online by Christofersen Meats Co. Inc., doing business as Swanson Meats, in Minneapolis — no relation to Swanson Meals.

Courtesy of FDA

The Minnesota Department of Health reports that two children in a single household got sick. One of the children ended up with septicemia, a blood infection, and osteomyelitis, a painful and serious bone infection, the FDA said.

Testing done by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture demonstrated that the same strain of Salmonella Reading found in the children was also found in four samples of Raws for Paws “Ground Turkey Food for Pets” that was used to feed the family dog, according to an advisory that the Federal Drug Administration posted in addition to the company’s recall notice.

Christofersen Meats recalled the Raws for Paws product on Feb. 5 and began directly notifying its customers on the same day.

The outbreak is of particular public health importance because of the potential hazard to both human and animal health, according to the FDA’s outbreak advisory.

People who have handled the dog food are at risk of Salmonella infection and are advised to seek medical attention immediately if they develop symptoms of Salmonellosis. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is watery or bloody, fever and headache.

An FDA study unrelated to this recall found that raw pet food was more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella or Listeria compared to non-raw pet foods. In addition to Salmonella, handling raw meat at home can expose pet owners to parasites, viruses and bacteria including E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria.

The recalled Raw Paws branded food comes in 5-pound and 1-pound sealed plastic tubes often referred to as “chubs.” The recalled Turkey Pet Food and Pet Food Combo Packs can be identified by looking for case codes: 9900008, 9900009, 9900014, and 9900015. The Turkey Pet Food, which ships direct to consumers in cases, were manufactured on Oct. 12, 2017. The Combo Packs were manufactures from Oct. 12, 2017-Feb. 2.

The recalled lot codes and the manufacturing dates are not printed on the individual plastic chub packaging, so customers who have discarded the case have no means of determining whether they have the recalled products.

So, the FDA advises anyone who bought the product since Oct. 12 but cannot determine whether it is affected by the recall throw the dog food away.

Raws for Paws food included in this recall was distributed throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The company sells and ships its products directly to customers through online mail orders.

The FDA study, which ran from October 2010 through July 2012, tested more than 1,000 samples of pet foods and pet treats for foodborne bacteria, including Salmonella. Of the 196 samples of raw pet food tested during the study, 15 were positive for Salmonella.

In 2013, FDA issued a “Compliance Policy Guide for Salmonella in Food for Animals,” affirming a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella in pet food due to the risk to human health.

Raws for Paws urges consumers to stop using the ground turkey and contact the company at 612-465-0372.

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