Who’s to blame? Australian restaurant fined $13,000 after health inspectors find “pet meat” being processed in kitchen

Akshay Pai of Meaww writes that an Indian restaurant in Perth, Australia, has been fined $13,000 by health inspectors after they found ‘pet meat’ in its kitchen premises.

The Department of Health published a notice online, stating that Kopikaran Krishnasamy and Kalaiamutham Pty Ltd, trading as Cafe Marica was guilty of breaching food regulations this past February.

According to the Daily Mail, when the City of Gosnells food safety inspectors visited the restaurant, located in Perth’s southern suburb of Canning Vale, they found 15 kilos of mutton marked ‘Pet Meat – Not Fit For Human Consumption’ opened and being processed in the kitchen.

Cafe Marica was handed down a hefty fine for failing to comply with food safety regulations —  $12,000 for court costs and an additional $1382.30 in costs for failing to prevent pet meat being handled in premises where food was sold. However, it is unclear whether any of the pet meat was served to a customer in the restaurant. Speaking about the case, City of Gosnells chief executive officer Ian Cowie said, “The breach related to the fact that pet meat was found at premises where food was prepared and sold for human consumption. Some of the meat was being processed by Mr. Krishnasamy, however, the City had no evidence that the pet meat was for consumption by customers.”

In a statement, owner Krishnasamy defended his restaurant and insisted that the mix-up was because of a new supplier. “We believe our mistake was trusting our supplier blindly and going ahead with the purchase back in February 2018,” he wrote on Facebook. “Since then, we have immediately discontinued purchases from the supplier and stepped up our hygiene practices.”

Raw isn’t rad, it’s risky: Radagast Pet Food, Inc. voluntarily recalls three lots of rad cat raw diet free-range chicken recipe and one lot of pasture-raised venison recipe because of possible health risk

Radagast Pet Food, Inc. of Portland, OR is recalling three lots of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe because testing results indicate they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Company is also recalling one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe because testing results indicate it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga Toxin producing E. coli O121.  This recall is being conducted out of an abundance of caution.  Due to Radagast Pet Food’s commitment to food safety and quality, The Company is conducting this voluntary recall.

Uh-huh.

Raw is risky: Kitten death and recall

I’d somehow dropped off the Worms & Germs Blog, hosted by my former hockey friend-buddy-guy Scott Weese at the University of Guelph, in the same way people lose barfblog.com.

We’re both still here (he’s in the back row, third from left, I’m the goalie in black, 13 years ago).

Resubscribe.

Scott writes about recent raw pet food outbreaks that, I haven’t written much lately about recalls of raw pet food because of Salmonella contamination. In large part that’s because it’s an expected event. There’s a reason we cook food…to kill things that can make us sick. We assume that raw meat intended for our consumption is contaminated with bacteria like Campylobacter and Salmonella (because it often is). Therefore, we similarly expect raw meat for pet consumption to be frequently contaminated. Various research studies have confirmed that.

A recent recall highlights the issues and risks. The recall involves Blue Ridge Beef of Eatontown, Georgia. They are recalling “Kitten grind” (an unfortunate name, in my opinion…but that’s a different story) after consumer complaints of deaths of two kittens. One death was confirmed to have been the result of Salmonella. Salmonella and Listeria were identified in the food (although it’s not clear to me whether it was the same strain and the same lot). Regardless, it’s not too surprising. Salmonella contamination of raw meat is common and while disease in animals is fortunately rare, it can happen, sometimes with fatal consequences.

This should be a reminder that handling and feeding raw meat is a risk for acquisition of pathogens such as Salmonella. My main recommendation is ‘don’t feed raw’. That’s particularly true in households where there are high-risk people (e.g. young kids, elderly individuals, pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals) or high-risk animals (same types as for people). If someone’s determined to feed raw, it’s important to reduce the risk as much as possible.

Raw is risky, for pets and humans

I have never fed any of my dogs or cats raw pet food.

They may eat each other’s poop, but I control what I can control.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners to a history of four recalls of and multiple complaints associated with Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., dba Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, over the period from October 17, 2016 to February 10, 2018. In each instance, the company recalled these products after being alerted to positive findings of Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes in samples of their raw pet food products.

In its most recent recall, on February 10, 2018, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural recalled ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41957) and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41567) because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella and therefore have the potential to cause salmonellosis in humans and animals. The company states that it only sells its products online through direct-to-consumer sales.

The FDA has investigated six complaints of illness and death in animals that have eaten the recalled products.

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has notified its customers directly of the recalls, but has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls.

This issue is of particular public health importance because Salmonella can make both people and animals sick.

As part of an ongoing investigation into complaints associated with products manufactured by Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural of Tukwila, WA, the FDA has confirmed that new samples of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw pet foods have tested positive for Salmonella. These raw pet foods include ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41957 and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41567.

The latest recall was triggered by a complaint of an adult dog that had recurring diarrhea over a nine-month period. The dog tested positive for Salmonella from initial testing by the veterinarian and by follow-up testing by the FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN). The Darwin’s Natural raw pet food that the dog had been fed was also positive for Salmonella.

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural is aware of the dog’s illness and the positive results and initiated a recall on February 10, 2018 by directly notifying its customers via email. The firm has not issued a public recall notice.

Since October 2016, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has initiated four recalls and had six reported complaints (some referring to more than one animal) associated with their raw pet food products, including the death of one kitten from a severe systemic Salmonella infection. The Salmonella isolated from the kitten was analyzed using whole genome sequencing and found to be indistinguishable from the Salmonella isolated from a closed package from the same lot of Darwin’s Natural cat food that the kitten ate.

In addition to reports of illnesses associated with Salmonella contamination in the products, the FDA is aware of complaints of at least three animals who were reportedly injured by bone shards in the Darwin’s Natural raw pet food products.

Raw pet food contaminated with Salmonella sickens 2 Minnesota children

Minnesota health officials say two children in the Twin Cities area got sick from salmonella poisoning after coming in contact with tainted pet food.

The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that testing found the same salmonella DNA patterns in the siblings. One of the children was hospitalized last month with a painful bone condition.

An investigation found the children’s home contained Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food, and that the pet food was contaminated.

The contaminated raw turkey pet food was produced on Oct. 12 and sold online on the Raws for Paws website. The product was recalled Feb. 8, 2018, by the manufacturer.

Paperwork is never enough: Cats may vomit from Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has recalled cat food pouches after they were found to contain vomit inducing levels of iron.

cat.vomit.may.16The major pet nutrition firm said certain packs of its chicken and fish cat food pouches in the UK contain a large amount of iron, which can cause digestive upset, including vomited and diarrhea.

The feline food was pumped full of iron in error by an ingredient supplier.

The Food Standards Agency are urging pet owners not to feed their cats the foodstuff but instead return it to their nearest store for a full refund.

Owners who have already fed it to their cat should consult a vet, they said.

In a statement, Hill’s nutrition said: “Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling specific manufacturing batches of the single-serving cat food pouches. Due to an error by an ingredient supplier, the products contain high levels of iron. … At Hill’s we take great pride in the quality and safety of our pet food products.”

Except when it comes to checking ingredients from suppliers.

FDA warns ‘small family company trying to make dogs and cats healthier’ about Salmonella in its dog food

Federal authorities have notified a Berks County, Penn. raw-pet food producer that its dog food has been found to contain salmonella.

sadie.car.10A U.S. Food and Drug Administration “warning letter” sent last month to Lystn LLC, dba Answers Pet Food at 356 Maidencreek Road in Richmond Township, says the company’s Detailed Answers Chicken Formula dog food showed traces of salmonella.

The FDA letter says investigators found salmonella in its Detailed Answers Chicken, 8-ounce raw chicken patties and the 2-pound carton Detailed Answers Chicken Formula.

In a news release issued Wednesday and subsequent telephone interview, Lystn officials denied the company is introducing salmonella in its pet food or allowing product in the market “that could result in illness to animals or humans.”

Company officials also say they believe they have addressed the FDA’s concerns about its food processing and contend the agency has denied to address the company’s follow-up questions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture allows a limited amount of salmonella in poultry and other food consumed by humans, said Jacqueline C. Hill, the company’s vice president of operations, product development and sales.

“But we’re not regulated by the USDA but by the FDA, and it says pet food can’t contain any salmonella,” Hill said. “We’re a small family company trying to make dogs and cats healthier.”

Lystn began selling raw pet food in 2010, said Hill, adding there are many advantages to feeding it to domestic animals, including helping to heal those with chronic health issues.

Your dog wants duck batch sliders; but without Listeria and Salmonella

I’ve had small batch beers and whiskeys. Some are good. Some are small batches for a reason.

I’ve never had any small batch duck batch 1 oz sliders. But I’m also not that into dog food.

According to a press release, Smallbatch Pets Inc. is recalling one lot (or small batch?) of duck sliders because of potential contamination with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Small Batch Pet

Smallbatch Pets Inc. is voluntarily recalling one lot of frozen dog duckbatch sliders due to their potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

However, because of their commitment to safety and quality, Smallbatch Pets is conducting a voluntary recall of this product. Consumers should also follow the Simple Handling Tips published on the Smallbatch Pets package, when disposing of the affected product.

The potentially affected lots of dog duckbatch sliders were distributed to retail pet food stores in States CA, CO, OR, WA through pet food retailers/distributors. Eighty cases of this product were sold between the dates of 2/23/16 – 3/10/16. The affected products are sold frozen in 3lbs. bags. The products affected by this recall are identified with the following manufacturing codes: LOT #: CO27 Best By Date: 01/27/17 UPC: 713757339001 The “Best By” date is located on the back of the package below the seal.

This recall was initiated after routine testing by the Food and Drug Administration of a 3lb bag of dog duckbatch sliders, that was collected at a distributor, revealed the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Smallbatch Pets lists this info on its website:

Additionally, we strive to only use meats that are free-range, pasture raised and always free of hormones and antibiotics. Our produce is 100% certified Organic and our supplements are always pure, organic, and unrefined. No HPP (high pressure pasteurization) always 100% raw, the way nature intended.

Pathogens are natural too.

Hong Kong pet owners warned after tests find Salmonella

Hong Kong animal owners are being warned against frozen or raw pet food after salmonella was found in some test samples.

dog_vomitThe Consumer Council said it found salmonella in three of 17 samples during random tests on pet food.

These came from two Australian brands  – Big Dog and Doctor B’s.

Michael Hui, chairman of the council’s publicity and community relations committee, said pets infected with salmonella could suffer diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Their owners may be vulnerable to infection when exposed to contaminated food containers and feces.

Hong Kong does not regulate pet food quality and it has no mechanism for product recalls.

Listeria raw pet food recall…with a twist

Friend and fellow hockey aficionado, Scott Weese writes in his Worms & Germs Blog that the recent recall of Stella & Chewy’s products because of Listeria contamination is noteworthy.

stella.chewy'sWhy?

Because their food is treated with high pressure pasteurization (HPP). That’s a process that uses high pressure to destroy bacteria. My typical line is that I consider HPP-treated food to be similar to commercial cooked products in terms of risk of contamination and public health concerns. Yet, I add in the disclaimer that actual evidence of effectiveness on pet food seems to be limited. It makes sense that it would work; however, various factors impact the effectiveness of HPP so companies should have specific data that show their process works.

So, the big question here isn’t ‘why were bacteria in the food’? It’s raw, bacteria are common contaminants.

The question is ‘why were live bacteria in the food”? Figuring out how Listeria made it through processing is critically important. Hopefully there’s a real investigation into this.

There are a few main scenarios that I can come up with, and they vary greatly in their concern.

Post-treatment contamination: Careful review of the manufacturing process and testing (culture) of various environmental surfaces would typically be part of in investigation of this area. If this was the problem, things such as physical or procedural changes and more QC testing might be indicated.

Ineffective HPP: There could be two different scenarios.

-One is a breakdown in the process, with equipment problems, human error or some similar issue preventing an effective method from working. This is a problem but would presumably be fixable.

-The other (more concerning) one is that the procedure they use is not actually adequately effective.

Figuring out those is important to reduce the risk and help people make informed decisions about buying raw products.