What pet owners don’t know about the details of the Diamond Pet Foods recalls is a lot! And they are now demanding answers – from the manufacturer, from companies like Natural Balance, and from retailers.
One frustrated animal lover – Erich Riesenberg of Iowa Pet Adoptions – has created a petition on Change.org, seeking answers to the following questions:
- How did Diamond’s quality assurance program fail to prevent, or at least detect, the Salmonella contamination?
- When did Diamond first learn of the failure?
- Did Diamond withhold information?
- How does Diamond track reports of adverse reactions to its food?
The petition also asks for the release of plant inspection records, food test results, correspondence between Diamond and public officials, and a timeline of notifications.
To read the petition and, if you are so inclined, to add your name to the list of signees, follow this link.
Meanwhile, what do we know?
1. We know that at least 14 people have become ill with Salmonella Infantis infections. All 14 individuals were infected with a single genetic strain; that same strain was found in samples of dry dog food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina.
2. We know that a massive quantity of dry pet food – including some cat food, by the way – was recalled. Please follow this link for a consolidated list of recalled products.
3. We know, courtesy of Laura Alvey, spokesperson for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, that there have not been any confirmed cases of Salmonella-related dog illness associated with the recalled products. Alvey has acknowledged that FDA received an unspecified number of complaints of dog illnesses related to recalled product; however, these cases were not medically confirmed.
4. We know, thanks to an eFoodAlert reader, that at least one batch of recalled Taste of the Wild dry dog food was distributed in France. Alvey also confirmed that Diamond Pet Foods ships product “all over the world.”
What consumers can do:
- Check your supply of pet food to see whether it is affected by the recall. If it is on the recall list, either throw it away or return the unused portion to the retailer.
- If you have handled one of the recalled products and you develop symptoms of Salmonella (stomach ache, diarrhea, etc), seek immediate medical attention and mention the possible link to pet food.
- If your dog or cat was fed one of the recalled products and develops symptoms of gastrointestinal illness (vomiting or diarrhea), seek immediate veterinary attention. Ask your veterinarian to test your pet for Salmonella. If the test is positive, you or your veterinarian should contact FDA immediately to have the unused portion of the pet food tested.
- Review the FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treats, and follow its recommendations to keep your family and your pets safe.
- Monitor eFoodAlert’s Diamond Pet Foods, Etc. Recalls – 2012 page. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
Above all, be aware that dogs may be infected with Salmonella – and may shed the bacteria in their stool – without showing any outward symptoms of illness. If your pet has consumed a Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food, be especially careful to wash your hands after handling the animal, and supervise closely any interaction between children and your pet.