K9 Natural Ltd. (K9) has recalled four batches of its Frozen Chicken Feast Raw Pet Food that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recalled products were imported into the USA from New Zealand in June 2017, and were identified as follows:

  • K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast, 2.2-lb bags. Batch #170517; Expiration date 17NOV2018
  • K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast, 11-lb bags. Batch #150517; Expiration date 15NOV2018
  • K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast, 11-lb bags. Batch #160517; Expiration date 16NOV2018
  •  K9 Natural Frozen Chicken Feast, 11-lb bags. Batch #170517; Expiration date 17NOV2018

The 2.2-lb bags were shipped to distributors in Washington, California, Texas, and Colorado, and were distributed to pet specialty retail stores. The 11-lb bags were shipped to Pennsylvania in addition to the other four states and also were distributed to pet specialty retail stores.

According to a spokesperson for K9, the recall was initiated after the company was notified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture of a positive test result in a 2.2-lb bag obtained from a retailer.

Colorado is one of several states that samples pet foods and pet treats for pathogens on a regular basis, as part of its annual animal feed surveillance sampling plan, Food Safety News has learned.

While Colorado’s testing is not conducted in concert with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the state shares its results with the federal agency, according to a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

K9 tests every batch of frozen raw product destined for the US market for Listeria monocytogenes, according to its spokesperson, and does not ship the product until it has received a ‘not-detect’ report. The testing is carried out for the company by an accredited independent laboratory.

The company also tests key raw materials for pathogens prior to purchase.

Upon learning of the Colorado test result, the company reviewed its records and also arranged for testing of a retained sample from the suspect production batch. Listeria monocytogenes was not detected in the retention sample.

Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen that can cause illness both in pets and in humans. According to FDA, gastroenteritis caused by Listeria monocytogenes has a relatively short incubation period, from a few hours to 2 or 3 days. The severe, invasive form of the illness can have a very long incubation period, estimated to vary from 3 days to 3 months.

Although not all pets display symptoms when infected, those who do may have symptoms within a matter of a few hours, but possibly weeks after infection. Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass Listeria monocytogenes onto their human companions. Once Listeria monocytogenes gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination will continue to spread.

In response to a request for comment, the K9 spokesperson said, “At K9 Natural the safety of our products, pets, and customers is paramount, and we have several steps throughout our manufacturing process to ensure product quality and cleanliness right from the farm to the retail store.”

To date, K9 is unaware of any pet or human illnesses associated with the recalled products.

The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

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