According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), contaminated pet food may be just as dangerous for humans. In fact, a recent FDA recall of dog food is considered a “serious threat to human and animal health” after samples came back positive for listeria and salmonella. Read on to learn more about the recall and what you can to do reduce the risk of foodborne illness in your home.
FDA Recall of Performance Dog Frozen Raw Food
The FDA recall includes Performance Dog brand frozen raw dog food. The recall follows and FDA inspection of the manufacturer, Bravo Packing, Inc., where samples were collected. Samples in lot 072219 tested positive for salmonella and listeria monocytogenes. A lot of beef raw dog food also tested positive for salmonella, but it had not been distributed and is not included in this recall.
The dog food in this recall sells in frozen two-pound pouches in retailers across the U.S. The dog food was manufactured after July 22, 2019. The FDA warns consumers that retail packaging may not have a lot code, which makes it difficult to track potentially contaminated products. Lot codes appear on the boxes that retailers receive, but not on individual packages.
The FDA urges consumers to avoid using Performance Dog food. If you have this brand of dog food in your home, but you are not sure if it is subject to the recall, it is best to throw it away.
Not the First FDA Recall for Performance Dog
This FDA recall is not the first for Performance Dog. In September 2018, all frozen raw pet food was recalled due to salmonella. In 2016, a sample of horse meat animal food tested positive for drugs phenytoin and pentobarbital.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes infection in the digestive system of humans and animals. The infection is technically “salmonellosis” but most people simply call the illness salmonella. salmonellosis can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms including:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Muscle Pain
In most healthy individuals, salmonellosis resolves within seven days. In children, pregnant women and the elderly, symptoms may be more severe, however, and may require medical attention.
Complications of salmonellosis include dehydration, bacteremia (bloodstream infection) and reactive arthritis (joint pain). These complications may require medical treatment such as pain management, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.
What is Listeria?
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that commonly contaminates food. The technical term for a listeria infection is listeriosis. Listeria bacterium are incredibly resilient and can survive in refrigerated temperatures as well as aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Unlike other bacterium, listeria symptoms may not immediately develop. It may be days or even weeks before symptoms arise. The most common symptoms of listeriosis include:
- Muscle Pain
If listeriosis spreads to the nervous system, more serious symptoms may develop, such as:
- Neck Stiffness
- Mental Confusion
- Difficulty with Balance
Women who are pregnant may experience additional flu-like symptoms. Without proper medical care, listeriosis infection can be damaging to the fetus, and could cause a miscarriage. Furthermore, mothers can transmit listeria monocytogenes to a fetus.
Generally speaking, healthy adults recover from listeriosis without complication. Women who are pregnant, children, elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience infection and more serious symptoms. Consequently, treatment and recovery will depend on these factors, and may include antibiotics, fluids or other medications.
Why the Concern Over This FDA Recall?
The FDA is concerned about the impact of the dog food in this FDA recall because salmonella and listeria monocytogenes affect humans and animals. This means that pets can get sick and transmit the bacteria to humans through feces and saliva, or through contact with the dog food. Likewise, humans who have salmonellosis or listeriosis can transmit it to animals or other humans quite easily.
Recently, the FDA has been investigating animal/human exposure to salmonella. The recent recall of pig ear dog treats certainly highlights the danger of pet products being dangerous to humans as well. The FDA urges manufacturers and consumers to remember that the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires all animal food be made in sanitary conditions, have truthful labels and not contain harmful substances. In short, food products for pets and humans should be safe to eat.
What Consumers Can do to Prevent Illness
Just like the food that humans eat, dog food may come into contact with household surfaces, toys, and humans. To minimize the risk of illness due to Performance Dog food, the FDA recommends consumers do the following:
- Clean the refrigerator or freezer where you store pet food.
- Disinfect all pet bowls, bedding and toys.
- Clean and disinfect surface areas around your pet’s bowls.
- Disinfect all food preparation areas where dog food may come in contact with human food.
- Clean up animal feces, as other animals may be exposed to salmonella or listeria.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching any Performance dog food, even if you are just throwing the package away.
The FDA encourages consumers to avoid all Performance Dog products purchased after July 22, 2019. Even if there is no label with a corresponding lot code, avoid contact with Performance Dog food for the safety of you and your pets.