It was just a few weeks ago that FDA inspectorsÂ foundÂ SalmonellaÂ bacteria in Nature's Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats at Kasel Associated Industries of Denver during a routine sampling inspection. In September, the company recalled Boots & Barkley beef bully sticks.Â
NowÂ the Colorado Department Of Agriculture says a routine sampling finds that Boots & Barkley pigs ears and variety treats made at the Kasel plant contained theÂ SalmonellaÂ bacteria.
The company says it has "ceased distribution of any lots that have possible contamination of the bacteria." No other products made by Kasel Associated Industries are included in the recall of the 12 count packages of Roasted Pig Ears and the 32oz Variety Pack Dog Treats.
The recalled products were sold at Target stores.
The recalled Roasted Pig Ears and Variety Pack Dog Treats were distributed nationwide through Target retail stores in August 2012.Â The Roasted Pig Ears product comes in a clear plastic bag containing 12 pig ears marked with UPC bar code 647263899158. The Variety Pack product also comes in a clear plastic bag weighing 32oz and marked with UPC bar code 490830400086.Â
The company did not furnish any photos of the recalled products, as is customary in such cases. Located atÂ 3315 Walnut Street in Denver, Kasel IndustriesÂ maintains a low profile.Â
The company's website says it started its business in 1986, "to serve the refrigeration and boiler needs of the local food processing industry." It does not mention pet food and describes itself as a manufacturer ofÂ industrial refrigeration and boiler systems as well as "new slicing equipment, primarily for the meat processing industry."
There's nothing new about this, of course. Pets have been dying of poisoned food and snacks for years and, in many cases, their owners have been infected as well. The pet food companies argue that there is no definitive diagnosis in many cases but angry pet owners say that even when they send a sample of the suspect food to the manufacturer, nothing is done.
The FDA, long lambasted by critics for being lax in policing pet and human food supplies, insists it is looking into the problem, although the agency recently took the unusual step of posting a commentary questioning the seriousness of the problem.Â
Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA echoed the pet food manufacturers as she wrote thatÂ it is often difficult to pin down the cause of a specific pet's malady. She urged consumers to report their pets' illnesses to the FDA but critics were not encouraged.
Earlier this year, the FDA insisted it has been "unable to determine a definitive cause of reported dog illnesses or a direct link to chicken jerky products" and said that "extensive chemical and microbial testing ... has not uncovered a contaminant or cause of illness from any chicken jerky treat."
The FDA does note that jerky and other snacks "should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities." Â
Sarah Alexander, the education and outreach director ofÂ Food & Water Watch, a Ralph Nader-founded consumer organization, says theÂ FDA "has a poor track record of ensuring the safety of food from China for people and pets."
"Despite the flood of reports of dogs dying from imported dog treats going back as far as 2007, the FDA has done nothing to fix the problem," Alexander said in a recent email to the organization's supporters.