The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a cautionary advisory to consumers, urging them not to feed their pets specific lots of raw cat food and dog food produced by Arrow Reliance Inc.’s brand, Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. The agency’s move comes after samples from the affected lots tested positive for Salmonella contamination.

The FDA’s advisory was spurred by the potentially severe health implications these contaminated pet food lots can cause for both animals and humans. Salmonella infections can lead to serious illness, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and young children. Since the affected products are typically stored frozen, the FDA is particularly worried that people might still have them and unwittingly feed them to their pets.

The FDA identified the potentially hazardous products as follows:

  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs, Lot 9774, manufactured on June 13, 2023.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9795, manufactured on June 28, 2023.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9830, manufactured on July 19, 2023.

Both the cat and dog food are packaged in white and clear plastic wrapping. The dog food has blue labeling, while the cat food bears blue and green labeling. Each package weighs two pounds and contains four separate units. Lot codes are printed on the front of the lower left unit of the package.

The advisory stresses that if any of the listed lots from Darwin’s Natural Pet Products are in possession, pet owners should discard them immediately and avoid feeding them to their pets. The FDA’s concern is centered on the significant health risk that these specific lots of pet food pose to both animals and humans.

The FDA strongly advised Arrow Reliance Inc. to initiate a voluntary recall and publicly notify consumers of the issue, but the company has yet to take these steps.

History of Issues with Arrow Reliance Inc. and Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

This is not the first time Arrow Reliance Inc., operating under the brand Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, has faced issues related to the safety of its pet food products. On August 5, 2022, the FDA issued a similar advisory after product samples from certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat food were found to be tainted with Salmonella.

The FDA also sent a Feb. 16 warning letter, describing an Aug. 23 through Sept. 30, 2022 inspection of Arrow Reliance Inc.’s pet food manufacturing facility in Tukwila, WA. 

The FDA’s inspection revealed that the firm was not in compliance with FDA regulations because of adulterated animal food, including finished products with Salmonella.

FDA recommendations

For consumers who have these products at home, the FDA has recommended disposing of them in a secure container, where other animals cannot access them. Additionally, thorough cleaning and disinfection of surfaces that may have been exposed to the contaminated products, as well as diligent handwashing, are crucial steps to mitigate any potential health risks.

Pet owners are urged to check their supplies for the specified lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and take immediate action if any of the affected items are present. Swift intervention can help prevent further spread of Salmonella and safeguard both pets and their human companions from potential harm. For any pet illness concerns related to these products, individuals are advised to reach out to veterinarians. Complaints can be reported to the FDA through their Safety Reporting Portal or by contacting their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

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