Consumers should not feed their pets certain Aunt Jeni’s frozen raw pet foods because samples have tested positive for Listeria, which can cause life-threatening illness in humans. The food has also tested positive for Salmonella.
In a public alert this afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration said the implicated raw pet food poses a “serious threat” to human and animal health. People who handle the pet food can become infected. Cross contamination of countertops and other surfaces, as well as pet bowls and utensils, can also transfer the bacteria to people and pets.
To determine whether they have the implicated pet food in their homes consumers should look for the following label information:
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020.
If you have any of the affected Aunt Jeni’s Home Made products, throw them away, the FDA alert says.
“Because these products are sold and stored frozen, FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession,” according to the public alert. “. . . If you have either of the product varieties listed and cannot determine the lot code, FDA recommends that you exercise caution and throw the product away.
“The FDA collected two samples of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made pet food — turkey and chicken varieties — during a routine inspection of the manufacturing facility. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis and L. mono.
“Based on the test results, the Maryland Department of Agriculture issued a stop sale for these products on Aug. 20, preventing their further distribution.”
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made pet food products are sold frozen online and through retail locations. Lot codes are printed on the lower right corner of the front of the bag.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.
FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.
Listeria and Salmonella infections in people
Food that is contaminated with bacterial, viral or parasitic pathogens may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has handled any of the recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria or Salmonella infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.
LISTERIA: Anyone who has handled any of the recalled product should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.
Symptoms of Listeria infection 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.
SALMONELLA: Anyone who has handled any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized.
Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)