September 23, 2017

Before Salmonella Outbreak, Diamond Pet Foods Had History Of Trouble

Before it manufactured tainted dog food that caused a Salmonella outbreak this year that has so far sickened 15 people in the U.S. and one person in Canada,  Diamond Pet Foods, had a history of trouble.

The company is based in Meta, MO and  has operations in Lathrop, CA and  Gaston, SC where most of its problems, including 10 current recalls and the Salmonella outbreak, have originated. However, last week, the  U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a sample of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice formula collected from the Meta facility yielded a positive for Salmonella Liverpool, a bacterial strain that is different than the one that caused the outbreak, Salmonella Infantis. FDA officials say further investigations are underway to determine if the outbreak and recall need to be expanded to included illnesses caused by the the second strain.

At the plant in Gaston, trouble dates back to 2005 when pet food manufactured there was tainted with toxic mold that killed at least 76 dogs and prompted one of the largest pet food recalls in U.S. history: 700,000 bags of 31 brands of pet food shipped to 24 states and 30 countries.

In December 2005, the FDA sent Diamond a warning letter, noting that investigators found several violations during inspection. The inspector’s observations, namely that all reasonable precautions weren’t being taken to prevent contamination, were similar to those made this year when the FDA inspected the plant in April and found food safety violations.

Despite FDA warnings, a deadly outbreak  and a recall of historic proportions, food safety at the Gaston plant didn’t improve enough to prevent a recall in 2007,  2009, and 2010  or the 10 current recalls and and outbreak causing human illness,  including an 8-week-old baby who was hospitalized for three days. There are some people who believe their pets have also been sickened.

The recalled products are as follows:

  • Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice in 6 lb, 20lb and 40 lb bags with best before dates of Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 2013
  • Chicken Soup For The Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula in 6 lb and 35 lb bags with best before dates of Jan. 27 and 28 2013.
  • Diamond Puppy Formula in 6 oz, 8 lb, 20 lb and 40 lb bags with various production codes and best before dates.
  • Natural Balance in various varieties and sizes.
  • Apex Chicken and Rice Dog Food in 20 lb and 40 lb bags with best before ates of Jan. 24, 2013.
  • Expansion of Diamond  recall to include: Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild in various varieties and sizes with best before dates of e December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.
  • Canidae Dog Food in various formulas and sizes with best before dates of Dec. 9, 2012, through January 31, 2013.
  • Wellpet for Wellness Complete Health,  Super5Mix and Large Breed Puppy in 15 lb. and 30 lb. bags and 5 oz. sample bags with best by dates of Jan. 9 2013 through Jan. 11 2013.
  • Solid Gold Health Products for WolfCub Large Breed Puppy Food, in 4 lb, 15 lb, and 33 lb, with best before date of Dec. 30, 2012 and Large Breed Adult Dog Food, 4 lb, 15 lb, and 28.5 lb bags with a best before date of Dec. 30, 2012.
  • Another Diamond recall expansion to include Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula. in sample sizes, 6 pound and 18 pound bags with various production codes and best before dates.

Tainted pet food can sicken people who touch it or surfaces it has touched.

The symptoms of Salmonella poisoning usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps lasting four to seven days. Infants, small children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems are most at risk.

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