Diamond Pet Foods Recalls: Consumers Want Answers

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 Salmonellaand 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.

8 thoughts on “Diamond Pet Foods Recalls: Consumers Want Answers

  1. Thank you Phyllis.

    The little I have learned about the way the CDC tracks human illness seems interesting and impressive.

    Diamond needs to explain what it means when it states there are no canine illnesses. My dogs are all healthy but as with people, sick pets are at more risk from Salmonella.

    Also, mistakes happen. If pet food companies test one ounce of every 100 pounds or 1000 pounds of dog food, I understand it may not catch everything, but how it responds once the problem is known is important.

    There is so much bad dog food and I hope a quality food at lower cost remains available.


  2. Thanks Phyllis!

    Did you say cat food? France? Oh mercy…I take a break and more bad news.

    I agree with the petitioner. My feeling is, there is more to the story than what the public has been told.

    I guess what really sticks out for me is the timeline of the recalls and the poor timing of the release of the most recent (and their largest) recall on a Friday afternoon.

    And Diamond’s explanation for the Gaston “temporary” plant closure for nearly a month – just doesn’t fly. What were they doing all that time? Giving it a good scrubbing? Sorry, I’m not buying it.

    It is troubling to consider that had the State Ag Dept not flagged the contaminated food when he ran a routine test, chances are pretty good that, this whole mess would have slipped under the wire. What does that say about Diamond’s quality control measures?

    I find it highly suspicious that once they knew there was a problem(s), that it took them nearly a month to fully disclose the extent of the damage. How long does it take to run samples of food produced during the suspected timeline?

    I know that advocate Susan Thixton (TruthAbourPetFood) during the last month asked Diamond many times for further information and was told nothing of any consequence — even on the very day they were planning to announce their biggest recall.

    Diamond has also refused (all along) to name the other brands of food made at the Gaston plant, citing client confidentiality.

    I think the public deserves more than what they were given.

    Thank you for staying on top of this, Phyllis!


      1. I already had the cat – just missed it I guess. I will be curious to see how the European connection unfolds.


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