Columbia River Natural Pet Foods is recalling Cow Pie fresh frozen meats for dogs and cats because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in humans.

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Washington State Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a package of the pet food, and is being carried out with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

There is concern that pet owners could expose themselves by handling the recalled pet food and utensils and bowls used for it. Pet owners can also easily cross contaminate counters, floors and other surfaces when handling and serving the pet food.

The recalled pet food was processed on Aug. 19, 2017. It was packaged frozen in 2-pound plastic bags with “Lot 81917” on the labels. It was distributed in Alaska, Oregon and Washington through retail stores and direct delivery to the public.

Pets who become infected with Listeria monocytogenes may develop symptoms that include mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, nervous, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion, depression, shock, and death. Animals that have recovered may become carriers, and serve as a source of infection for other animals and for humans.

Advice to consumers
Human and pet food that is contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has handled any of the recalled pet food and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has been exposed to any of the recalled product — or lives in a household where the recalled pet food has been used — should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks. It can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection in humans can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

Consumers wishing to report a pet food complaint to FDA can do so electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator for their state.

Consumers who have purchased 2-pound packages of Cow Pie, with the affected lot number 81917, should discontinue use of the product. They can return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 360-834-6854.

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