FDA ISSUES WARNING OVER PERFORMANCE DOG RAW FOOD DUE TO SALMONELLA AND LISTERIA: DANGERS TO HUMANS AND PETS

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East County News Service

September 30, 2019 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets any Performance Dog frozen raw pet food after a sample tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).  Bravo Packing, Inc. Performance Dog products are sold frozen in two-pound plastic pouches.

Two samples of different finished products collected during an inspection of Bravo Packing, Inc., the manufacturer of Performance Dog raw pet food, tested positive for Salmonella and/or L. mono.  These dogs foods pose a “serious threat to human and animal health,” the FDA warns. 

If you have any Performance Dog raw food that you purchased after July 22nd, throw it away in a secure container where pets, wildlife and children cannot access it, or return to your retailer for a refund.  Clean your freezer or refrigerator where the product was stored. Also clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.

Wash their hands after handling the affected product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces. Also clean up dog droppings in your yard or wherever you walk your dog to avoid exposing others to this illness.   

Pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella and L. mono are can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from these pathogens and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing to be ill. People can get sick from handling contaminated pet foods and treats or touching surfaces that have had contact with the contaminated pet foods and treats. Additionally, if a person gets Salmonella or L. mono on their hands, they can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.

People with symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection should consult their health care providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection.

This is the second time Bravo Packing, Inc. product has tested positive for pathogen contamination. In September 2018, Bravo Packing, Inc. recalled all Performance Dog frozen raw pet food due to Salmonella. Also, during a 2016 inspection, the FDA collected samples of Bravo Packing, Inc. horse meat chunk animal food that tested positive for the drugs pentobarbital and phenytoin.

Retailers, distributors and other operators who have offered the affected products for sale should wash and sanitize display cases and freezers where the products were stored.

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. According to CDC, people infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In some patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.

Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are pregnant, very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. According to CDC, listeriosis in humans can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected. Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis. Anyone with symptoms of listeriosis should contact a healthcare provider.

L. mono infections are uncommon in pets, but they are possible. Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea; anorexia; fever; nervous, muscular and respiratory signs; abortion; depression; shock; and death. Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass L. mono on to their human companions. As with Salmonella, infected pets can shed L. mono in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.

If you think you have symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection, consult your healthcare provider.

People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.

FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.