Last Wednesday, Mars Petcare recalled the 50-pound variety of its Red Flannel-brand Large Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food and the 5 pound bag of its Krasdale Gravy dog food. Both were recalled because of salmonella contamination.
The Mars Petcare manufacturing plant in Everson, Pennsylvania was linked to the contamination and was closed for inspection and cleaning.
Not only are pets at risk, but there has been an ongoing salmonellosis outbreak among humans. In the past 18 months, 66 people nationwide (25 of those in Pennsylvania) have been sickened by the Salmonella Schwarzengrund bacteria. Federal and state officials link the outbreak to the tainted pet food.
Mars Petcare recalled their pet foods after that same strain of salmonella was found in their products.
Most people that became ill had contact with dry pet food produced at the Mars Petcare plant in Everson, but they were not the two dog foods that were recalled last week. The brands in question have not been identified.
“This is not information that is consistent with our information,” said Mars Petcare spokeswoman Alice Nathanson. She declined to say how many brands of pet foods have been produced at the Everson plant.
Ian Williams, head of the outbreak team at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Enteric Disease Epidemiology Branch, said none of the people that became ill had contact with either of the recalled dog foods. He wondered if there is more contaminated food out there.
The FDA said the source of the Salmonella Schwarzengrund bacteria has not been determined. The agency has finished its investigation and will not plan to test ingredients of any suspect pet foods unless the FDA obtains more information suggesting a possible source.
A FDA spokesperson said pet foods contain some of the same ingredients used in human foods. He added some of the people that became ill did not come in contact with any pet foods.
When asked if there could still be contaminated pet foods out there that haven’t been recalled, he said: “I’m not allowed to make that supposition.”
He said this is the first time human illnesses have been linked to pet food. There has been one outbreak in the US and Canada and two outbreaks just in Canada that have been linked to pet treats.
The FDA will inspect the Everson plant after it reopens.
Source: Daily Courier