Pet Treat Company Refuses FDA Recall Request

FDA is warning pet owners and caretakers that Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats (3-lb pkgs; Lot code BESTBY061913DEN; Product of USA) should not be fed to pets, because the treats may be contaminated with Salmonella. The contaminated product was sold at Costco stores in the Denver, Colorado area. Costco is cooperating with FDA, and has removed all of the implicated product from store shelves. The retailer also will contact customers who may have purchased the product.

The FDA warning follows three prior recalls of pet treats initiated by Kasel Associates Inc. (Denver, CO), issued in September and October 2012. Kasel has refused to recall the batch that is the subject of FDA’s most recent warning, even though the Colorado Department of Agriculture found Salmonella in a sample of the product.

Kasel appears to have an ongoing Salmonella contamination problem.

  • In September 2012, the company recalled Boots & Barkley American Beef 5-inch Bully Sticks after Colorado found Salmonella in four production lots;
  • In October 2012, Kasel recalled Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats (one lot code) after FDA detected Salmonella during what the recall notice described as a routine testing program; and
  • In October 2012, the company recalled one production lot each of Boots & Barkley Roasted American Pig Ears and Boots & Barkley American Variety Pack Dog Treats after Colorado again found Salmonella in a sample of the treats.

When FDA carried out its follow-up inspection of Kasel’s manufacturing facility after the first (September 2012) recall, the agency found “certain finished dog treat products and 34 out of 72 environmental samples positive for Salmonella.”

If Kasel was manufacturing “human” food instead of pet treats, I suspect that a far more extensive product recall would have followed the FDA inspection findings. It was only last spring that Diamond Pet Foods’ dry dog food products were implicated in an outbreak of human salmonellosis. People – including children – handle these products and do not always wash their hands after doing so. Will it take another pet-related disease outbreak for pet food companies and FDA to recognize that Salmonellacontaminated pet food and pet treats present a health risk to pet owners and pet caretakers, and not just to pets?

Why is Kasel being allowed to get away with supplying products that were manufactured in a Salmonella-contaminated environment?