FDA investigators found Salmonella bacteria in Nature's Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats at Kasel Associated Industries of Denver during a routine sampling inspection, the agency said recently.
Once notified of the results, the company recalled and ceased distribution of its product.
The product comes in a clear plastic bag with the Nature's Deli logo containing 2.5 lbs chicken jerky marked with UPC bar code 647263800208. Kasel Industries is recalling lot number BEST BY 091913 DEN because this lot code tested positive through analysis by the FDA.
The FDA said the incident is unrelated to jerky pet treats from China that are associated with reports of illness in dogs and cats.
Since 2007, there have been increasing numbers of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. The majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams.
The FDA said it has received approximately 2,200 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected.
Over the past 18 months the reports have contained information on 360 canine deaths and one feline death. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports. Cases have been reported from all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces in the past 18 months.
ConsumerAffairs has also received thousands of reports of pet illnesses attributed by owners to food and treats. In the vast majority of cases, no definitive diagnosis is made.
Nutro Pet Foods Oct. 5, 2012, 7:18 p.m.Consumers rate Nutro Pet Foods
"It has only been a couple of days since I have purchased a new bag of Nutro senior dog food," Tiffany of Austin, TX, posted on ConsumerAffairs. "My dog has diarrhea and has vomited. I actually feel somewhat lucky that I came across this site. As of today, he is no longer eating Nutro brand foods."
Although the FDA said it has been actively investigating the reports of illnesses, no definitive cause has been determined.
"The ongoing global investigation is complex, multifaceted and includes a wide variety of experts at the FDA including toxicologists, epidemiologists, veterinary researchers, forensic chemists, microbiologists, field investigators and senior agency officials," the agency said in a statement.
86 million pounds
PhotoIn the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in importation of pet food from China. Human consumption of poultry in China largely consists of dark meat, leaving a large amount of light meat poultry products available for export.
From 2003, when China first approached the USDA about poultry exports, to 2011, the volume of pet food exports (regulated by the FDA) to the United States from China has grown 85-fold.
It is estimated that nearly 86 million pounds of pet food came from China in 2011. Pet treats, including jerky pet treats are currently considered the fastest growing segment in the pet food market.
FDA said it is "concerned about any food found to contain Salmonella and will post information for the public on any new bacterial outbreak that has the potential to sicken animals and humans who handle potentially contaminated products." The agency cautions consumers to thoroughly wash their hands after having contact with pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella may have some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Consumers exhibiting these symptoms should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.