FDA investigates contamination in raw Darwin’s Natural Pet and ZooLogics pet foods

The FDA 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.

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.

Since 2016, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has recalled the following raw pet food products:

  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #40487, manufacture date 9/29/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes
    Lot #40727, manufacture date 9/26/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #39937, manufacture date 8/24/17 and Lot #40507, manufacture date 9/20/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Frozen Duck Meals for Cats, due to potential contamination with Salmonella
    Lot #38277, manufacture date 6/1/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 09/08/17
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Frozen Raw Beef with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due Listeria Monocytogenes
    Lot #3146070, manufacture date 7/21/16, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 10/17/16
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Frozen Raw Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Listeria Monocytogenes
    Lot #3142070, manufacture date 7/20/16, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 10/17/16
  • ZooLogics Frozen Raw Turkey with Vegetable Meals for Dogs, due to Listeria monocytogenes
    Lot #3155070, manufacture date 7/25/16, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 10/17/16

The recalled lot codes and the manufacturing dates are printed directly on the flexible film packages.

Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural initiated each recall of the product lots by notifying customers directly via email. The company states that the raw pet foods are only sold online through direct-to-consumer sales.

This contaminated raw pet food is of particular public health importance because of the potential hazard to both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from Salmonella, but may also be carriers of the bacteria and can infect humans. Pets do not have to be apparently ill to be able to pass Salmonella onto their human companions.

People infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. Pets can pass Salmonella to humans without showing any signs of the illness themselves.

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