A customer complaint had led a pet food company to discover its product might be contaminated with Salmonella and prompted it to adopt a “test and hold” policy so it does not happen again.
Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet for dogs and cats has been recalled by Nature’s Variety for possible Salmonella contamination that was discovered by a customer.
The products affected are limited to chicken medallions, patties, and chubs with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10.
The affected products are limited to the Nature’s Variety Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet packaged in the following forms:
* 3 lb chicken medallions (UPC# 7 69949 60130 2) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10
* 6 lb chicken patties (UPC# 7 69949 60120 3) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10
* 2 lb chicken chubs (UPC# 7 69949 60121 0) with a “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10
The “Best If Used By” date is located on the back of the package above the safe handling instructions. The affected product was distributed through retail stores and Internet sales throughout the United States, and in limited distribution in Canada.
Consumers are asked to return the unopened product to your retailer for a full refund or replacement. If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle. Then, bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a full refund or replacement.
In a statement for the media, Nature’s Variety said it became aware of a potential problem after receiving a consumer complaint.
Subsequent testing indicated that the lot code related to the consumer complaint tested negative for Salmonella. However, additional subsequent testing found the “Best If Used By” date of 11/10/10 to be contaminated with Salmonella.
No pet or human illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this lot code.
Reed Howlett, Nature’s Variety CEO, said the company will now subject its raw frozen products to a “test and hold” period before releasing the cat and dog food for sale.
Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. Even though no illnesses have been reported, consumers should follow the Safe Handling Guidelines published on the Nature’s Variety package when disposing of the affected product. People handling raw frozen pet foods may become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not followed the safe handling guidelines set forth by the company.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella may experience some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or fever.
Although rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, or urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with the affected product should contact their health care provider.
Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, or vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever, or abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products and is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Consumers with additional questions can call the Nature’s Variety Customer Care line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-374-3142. Or, consumers can email Nature’s Variety directly by visiting naturesvariety.com.