Last month we reported on the FDA study results showing that of the nearly 100 food types the FDA tested, the vast majority of raw food in the U.S. is free of PFAS chemical contamination. On August 26, 2021 however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had found PFAS “forever chemicals” in some processed foods, including several baby foods. The results showed that 164 of the 167 foods tested had no detectable levels of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) measured–which is surprising since we know that a number of commercially processed food manufacturers still use packaging that contains PFAS which can migrate or leach into the food.
Among the processed foods testing positive for PFAS contamination* fish sticks, tuna, and protein powder had three specific PFAS chemicals: perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) ranging from 33 parts per trillion…
August 17, 2021 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a formal warning to Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., maker of 12 pet food brands and sub-brands, after inspections of manufacturing plants revealed serious violations.
The FDA claims conditions at the firm’s facilities likely contributed to the illness or death of hundreds of dogs and cats.
What Caused the FDA’s Action?
According to the FDA…
“Analysis of these subsequent samples found that additional SPORTMiX branded products, spanning multiple products and lot codes, contained aflatoxin at levels as high as 558 ppb. FDA considers that aflatoxin levels in dog and cat food above 20 ppb will support a charge of adulteration… because of the reasonable possibility that a regular diet of such food will be fatal or injurious to the health of the pet. Therefore, these pet food products manufactured in your OK facility are adulterated in that they bear or contain a poisonous or deleterious substance which renders them injurious to health.”
Editor — Aflatoxin levels were nearly 28 times the safe upper limit of 20 parts per billion (ppb) established by the FDA.
More Safety Violations
The FDA’s official warning to Midwestern Pet Foods contained multiple instances of critical safety violations… too many to detail in this short article.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shared a recall on certain hamburger and hot dog buns created by Hostess Brands, LLC due to the potential presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. The impacted products were manufactured by Best Harvest Bakeries, a Hostess co-manufacturer. At the moment, Hostess has received no reports of illness related to the issue from consumers.
The affected products, Hostess Soft White Hamburger Buns and Hostess Soft White Hot Dog Buns, have respective UPCs of 888109110987 and 888109110970. The affected hamburger buns have best-by dates ranging from August 13, 2021 to October 4, 2021 and the affected hot dog buns have best-by dates ranging from August 13, 2021 to September 30, 2021. For more information including batch numbers, check the FDA’s announcement.
Both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in children, frail and elderly people, and immunocompromised people. Salmonella infection symptoms include fever and gastric issues such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and vomiting. In rare cases, Salmonella can enter the bloodstream and cause a more severe illness.
Listeria infection symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, stiffness and gastric issues such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and the organism can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant people. If you are experiencing severe symptoms of either illness, contact a medical professional.
No other Hostess products are affected by this recall, the FDA says. If you’ve purchased the affected products, dispose of them or return to the place of purchase for a refund.
July 29, 2021 — Sunshine Mills is recalling six dog food brands due to dangerous levels of aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin is a potentially deadly toxin produced by Aspergillus mold (typically found on corn)… and which can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant amounts.
To date, no illnesses have been reported in association with the related products. No other Sunshine Mills pet foods are affected by this announcement.
The affected products were distributed in retail stores nationally.
Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull these lots from their inventory and shelves.
There are no other Triumph®, Evolve®, Wild Harvest®, Nurture Farms®, Pure Being®, or Elm products or other lot codes of these products affected by this recall.
Message from the Company
“While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to issue a voluntary recall of the above-referenced products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products.”
What to Do?
Pets that have consumed any of the above recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled dog food should discontinue use of the product… and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. customer service at 800-705-2111 from 7 am to 4 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.
August 13, 2021 — Wet Noses Natural Dog Treat Company of Monroe, Washington, is recalling approximately 51,000 packages of Simply Nourish frozen dog food due to it elevated levels of Vitamin D.
What’s Being Recalled?
Recalled products are marketed in 2-pound and 4.5-pound packages across specific “Best By” dates.
A full list of affected products is included below:
Affected Simply Nourish frozen food products were distributed at select PetSmart stores nationwide.
No illnesses have been reported to date. No other products have been affected.
About Vitamin D Toxicity in Dogs
Dogs ingesting elevated levels of Vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.
Vitamin D when consumed at very high levels or over a long period of time can lead to serious health issues in dogs… including kidney failure and death.
Consumers who have dogs that have consumed any of the products listed above and are exhibiting these symptoms, should contact their veterinarian.
What Caused the Recall?
The recall was initiated after a routine nutrition test confirmed elevated Vitamin D levels on certain Simply Nourish frozen food products.
Subsequent investigation indicates the problem arose as a result of the vitamin mix dosage being significantly reduced by the vitamin mix manufacturer, and this change was not detected or properly communicated.
As a result, the dosage was not reduced.
We care deeply about our customers and their pets, and have put corrective actions into place to ensure this issue does not reoccur.
This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
What to Do?
Consumers should immediately stop feeding the above products to their dogs.
Consumers who have purchased Simply Nourish Frozen Food are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-938-6673 Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm PST.
WASHINGTON, July 3, 2021 – Tyson Foods Inc., a Dexter, Mo. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,492,832 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021. The products that are subject to recall are listed here. View the labels here.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7089” on the product bag or inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools and Department of Defense locations.
On June 9, 2021, FSIS was notified of two persons ill with listeriosis. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health partners, FSIS determined there is evidence linking the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses to precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc. The epidemiologic investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, including one death, between April 6, 2021 and June 5, 2021. During routine sample collection, FSIS collected two precooked chicken samples from two establishments that are closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people. One of the samples was collected at Tyson Foods Inc. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products.
Additional information on the investigation may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.
Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumer and institutional freezers. Consumers should not eat these products. Institutions should not serve these products. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify theircustomers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Members of the media who have questions regarding the recall can contact Derek Burleson, Communications Manager, Tyson Foods, at (479) 290-6466 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers who have questions can contact Tyson Foods customer relations, at (855) 382-3101.
Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov. For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.
Be sure to check the freezer if you might have Weis ice cream.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shared a recall from Weis Markets, recalling more than 11,000 containers of ice cream. The frozen treats may be contaminated with “extraneous material, specifically metal filling equipment parts,” which is not a traditional ice cream topping.
The company has recalled 10,869 containers of Weis Quality Cookies and Cream Ice Cream in 48-ounce containers, as well as 502 bulk units of Klein’s Vanilla Dairy Ice Cream in three-gallon containers. The ice cream may be contaminated with foreign matter which is, obviously, a choking hazard.
The recall notice says there has been one report of someone finding an “intact piece of metal equipment” in their ice cream. There is concern that more containers may have been contaminated as well.
The ice cream was sold at 197 Weis Markets stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and West Virginia. The vanilla bulk ice cream packages are not available for retail sale, so you probably don’t have that sitting in your fridge. For the average shopper, there’s just the single product that you want to look out for. The Cookies and Cream ice cream has a sell-by date of October 28, 2021, which can be found near the bottom of the container.
Two other types of ice cream were packaged on the same date, but the announcement says all units were stored in a warehouse and never distributed. Be sure to return that package for a refund if you’ve got it in the freezer. You can also call Weis Markets’ customer service line with questions.
Important: Illustrations not complete. Additional images will be added if or when they become available.
January 11, 2021 — The FDA is alerting consumers that Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. is expanding its recent recall to include over 1000 lots of Sportmix and 2 other brands of dog and cat food because they contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin.
As of this date, FDA is aware of more than 70 deaths and 80 illnesses in pets that have eaten the affected products.
This is an ongoing investigation. This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected.
Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag Exp 03/02/22/05/L2 Exp 03/02/22/05/L3 Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag Exp 03/03/22/05/L2 Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
On January 11, 2021, the company expanded its recall to include all pet food products containing corn that were made in the firm’s Oklahoma plant and that expire on or before July 9, 2022.
More than 1000 lot codes are affected, so they are not listed individually.
Lots of the following pet food products have been recalled if the date/lot code includes an expiration date on or before “07/09/22” and includes “05” in the date/lot code, which identifies products made in the Oklahoma plant:
Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 lb. bag
Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 lb. bag
Splash Fat Cat 32%, 50 lb. bag
Nunn Better Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
Sportmix Maintenance, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix High Protein, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Stamina, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix Stamina, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Bite Size, 40 lb. bag
Sportmix Bite Size, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix High Energy, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix High Energy, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Premium Puppy, 16.5 lb. bag
Sportmix Premium Puppy, 33 lb. bag
Lot code information may be found on the back of bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM”
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and at high levels it can cause illness and death in pets.
The toxin can be present even if there is no visible mold.
Pets are highly susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because, unlike people, who eat a varied diet, pets generally eat the same food continuously over extended periods of time.
If a pet’s food contains aflatoxin, the toxin could accumulate in the pet’s system as they continue to eat the same food.
Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea.
In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death.
Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms.
Pet owners whose pets have been eating the recalled products should contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing signs of illness.
There is no evidence to suggest that pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning.
However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling pet food.
What to Do?
Affected products may still be on store shelves, online, or in pet owners’ homes.
Pet owners should stop feeding their pets the recalled products listed above and consult their veterinarian, especially if the pet is showing signs of illness.
The pet owner should remove the food and make sure no other animals have access to the recalled product.
Contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at 800-474-4163, ext. 455 from 7 am to 4 pm CT, Monday through Friday, or by email at email@example.com for additional information.
November 13, 2020 — Albright’s Raw Dog Food of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is voluntarily recalling 67 cases of Chicken Recipe for Dogs because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
What’s Being Recalled?
The product is labeled Albright’s Raw Dog Food Chicken Recipe for Dogs and is packaged in 2-pound chubs/rolls (see image above).
Each chub/roll is printed with:
Lot number C000185
Best By 19 May 2021
Product was sold frozen, and was distributed from the company to distributors from 7/8/20 to 8/27/20.
One animal illness has been reported. No human illnesses have been reported to date.
Where Was It Sold?
Albright’s Raw Dog Food Chicken Recipe for Dogs was distributed in CA, FL, IL, IN, NH, NJ, NV, NY, PA, and TN.
The affected product was also distributed through retail stores, mail order, and direct delivery.
What Caused the Recall?
The problem bacteria was revealed after testing conducted by the FDA.
The problem was confined to this batch and the company has ceased the distribution of the batch as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.
About Salmonella in Humans
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.
Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
About Salmonella in Pets
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 these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
What to Do?
Due to the frozen condition of the product, it is possible that retailers and end users may still have the product in their freezers.
Consumers who have purchased Albright’s Raw Dog Food Chicken Recipe for Dogs are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 260-422-9440 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM ET.
Faribault Foods Inc., a Faribault, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 15,134 pounds of canned PROGRESSO soup product due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains milk and soy, known allergens, as well as beef and pork, which are not declared on the product label.
The cans labeled as chicken noodle soup actually contain a meatball and pasta product. The canned soup items were produced on May 26, 2020. The following products are subject to recall:
14-oz. cans of “PROGRESSO ORGANIC CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP” with a best by date of “BestByMAY262022” printed on the bottom of the can and a best by date of “09JUN2022” printed on the product case. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST18826A” printed on the bottom of the can under the best by date. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.
The problem was discovered when the firm’s distributor notified FSIS of consumer complaints that the soup contained meatballs and pasta instead of chicken and noodles.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ pantries. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Scientists from the University of California, Irvine, in collaboration with the University of Queensland and Environmental Defense Fund, Cornell University, yield an alarming discovery after conducting the first landmark study using high technology to examine the contaminants of oysters.
Love Shellfish? New Study Suggests Oysters Might Contain Bacteria, Plastics and Baby Formula
Their study reveals that oysters are contaminated with human bacterial pathogens and micro debris like plastics, kerosene, talc, paint, and baby formula.
The study was conducted in the eastern part of the Andaman Sea, with the help of local researchers in Myanmar in the rural Tanintharyi region. The researchers found that coastal urbanization and lack of sewage treatment contaminates seafood and, in turn, poses health risks for humans.
The findings of their research were published in Science of the Total Environment.
The study covered nine coral reefs off the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar situated roughly 40 miles from the city of Myeik that has over 250,000 residents.
The researchers used the next-generation DNA sequencing technology to reveal 5,459 potential human pathogens of 87 species of bacteria. More than 50% of these bacteria are harmful to human health.
Additionally, they used infrared spectroscopy to examine human-derived micro debris found in oysters and found 78 different contaminants.
Study senior author Joleah Lamb, an assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology at UCI, said that 48% of the contaminants they found in oysters were microplastics. However, many other particles were also present and not just plastics.
They were surprised to find constituents of fuel, paint, cosmetics, and three different brands of powdered milk that comprise 14% of the micro debris.
The pathogens and microparticles reflect the pervasive presence of sewage and other human-derived micro debris, which implies that coastal urbanization has led to the contamination of vital marine species globally.
The study’s implications for human health are very important. Oysters in the study area and anywhere that is part of the local diet consume the shellfish raw and whole. The contaminants found suggest that even areas such as rural Myanmar, far from the urban cities, have significant pollution from agricultural and human waste.
Today, more than 50% of seafood exports come from developing countries, which raises concerns about food safety and security worldwide.
But aside from pathogens present in shellfish, experts are very much concerned about the predominance of microplastics and its other types that are present in seafood that could adversely affect the environment and human health.
Microplastics such as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs carry toxins that enter the seafood and eventually transferred to people through food. That means, microplastics in the marine environment could be an emerging health risk to the people worldwide.
The authors are also concerned that over 50% of the micro debris detected in the Myanmar oyster tissues are polymer materials that are harmful to human health. These are kerosene, saponin, and talc.
Furthermore, the presence of milk supplement reveals that there is a direct fecal-oral link between sewage and human waste that is making its way back to the food chain. Therefore, it elevates further the risk of contamination or, worse, disease transmission.
(WJHL) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people not to eat, serve, or sell onions from Thomson International, Inc., or food made with them after 396 illnesses were reported in 34 states. This includes red, white, yellow, and sweet onions.
According to a report by the CDC, 59 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.
For a full list of symptoms for the Salmonella infection, click HERE.
At home, the CDC recommends that you check your refrigerator and kitchen for any of these onions or fresh foods made with them:
Check the package or look for a sticker on an onion to see if it is from Thomson International, Inc. If it is, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
If you can’t tell where your onions are from, don’t eat them. Throw them away.
If you made any foods with onions and you don’t know where they are from, do not eat them. Throw them away, even if no one got sick.
Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards.
When you eat out or shop for food, the CDC recommends that you check with restaurants and grocery stores to make sure they are not serving or selling onions from Thomson International Inc., or fresh foods prepared with them:
If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product.
People sickened in this outbreak reported eating raw onions in freshly prepared foods, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, salsas, and dips.
The outbreak has led to several recalls of salads made at a Fresh Express production facility in Streamwood, Illinois that were sold at major retailers Walmart, Hy-Vee, Aldi and Jewel-Osco, USA TODAY reported.
“[O]bviously there was some breakdown in the quality chain,” Rutgers University food microbiologist Donald W. Schaffner told The New York Times. He said the size and spread of the outbreak suggested “some rather significant sanitary breakdown in the production of this food.”
The parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis causes an infection called cyclosporiasis when humans eat or drink contaminated food or water, according to the CDC. The main symptom is watery diarrhea, but it can also cause stomach cramping, appetite loss and fatigue. It can last from a few days to longer than a month and is typically treated with antibiotics.
The first major foodborne cyclosporiasis outbreak was in the mid-1990s, Schaffner told The New York Times, and no one knows exactly what caused it. The current outbreak marks the third year in a row that there has been an outbreak of the illness during the warmer months.
“It’s likely due to the quality of the water used to irrigate the produce, and it probably has something to do with human fecal contamination of that water, but of course there’s a whole lot of unknowns,” Schaffner said. “Very often with these fresh produce outbreaks, we never learn the definitive cause.”
Illnesses from the current outbreak have been reported in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin between May 11 and June 17, the CDC said. So far, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation has uncovered a Fresh Express bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage as the likely culprit.
The outbreak has already prompted a number of recalls.
1. Brand: Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad
States: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Bag Size: 12 to 24 ounces
Use By: 05/19/2020 through 07/04/2020
2. Brand: Little Salad Bar brand Garden Salad
States: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Bag Size: 12 ounces
Use By: 05/01/2020 through 06/29/2020
3. Brand: Hy-Vee brand Garden Salad
States: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Jewel-Osco Voluntarily Recalls Bagged Signature Farms Garden Salad Due to Possible Cyclospora Contamination… https://t.co/nqaUR2DeXr — U.S. FDA Recalls (@U.S. FDA Recalls)1593184537.0
Then, on Saturday, Fresh Express issued a voluntary recall of all the salads made at its Streamwood facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage or carrots. The recall only impacts salads with a “Z” at the beginning of the Product Code in the upper-right-hand corner of the front of the package. The recalled salads have a Product Code of Z178 or lower.
“Our immediate thoughts and concern are for those consumers who have become ill due to the outbreak,” Fresh Express said in a statement Saturday reported by USA Today. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have issued a voluntary recall of both branded and private label salad products that were produced at the Streamwood facility and contain those ingredients.”
The Fresh Express recall came after the FDA began an investigation of the Streamwood plant and raised concerns that some products not already recalled might be impacted, according to the FDA.
“Consumers should not eat, and restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve any Fresh Express products currently on the market that were made in the Streamwood, Illinois, production facility and contain either iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, or carrots,” the agency recommended.
Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of Fresh Express 11.5-ounce Southwest Chopped Kit with production codes G163B10A and G163B10B, UPC code 071279306025 and use-by date of June 29 due to the presence of undeclared wheat, soy, cashews, and coconut. In some individuals the consumption of undisclosed allergens could cause allergic reactions that in some cases could be life-threatening.
The recall was necessitated when Fresh Express learned that, during a single production run, incorrect condiment packets were placed into Southwest Chopped Kit bags and, as a result, the allergens wheat, soy, cashews, and coconut are not properly declared.
Only the Southwest Chopped Kit displaying the identified product codes, UPC code and use-by date are subject to the recall. All other Fresh Express Southwest Chopped Kits are properly labeled, and no other Fresh Express products are included in the recall. No illnesses are reported to date.
The recalled product was distributed between June 12 and June 18 in the states of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Fresh Express representatives are coordinating with retail stores, instructing them to remove the recalled product from store shelves and inventories.
Fresh Express takes all matters of food safety very seriously, including the issue of allergens. Company procedures and programs stringently follow all mandated regulations and focus on preventive measures designed to minimize potential risks. Express is coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is conducting a full investigation into this isolated incident.
Consumers in possession of the recalled product should discard it. A refund is available where purchased or by contacting the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 Monday through Friday during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Information regarding Fresh Express products sold at Publix affected by this recall:
Product Name: Fresh Express Southwest Chopped Kit GTIN: 071279306025 Lot/Exp. Date: Lot G163B10A/use by June 29, Lot G163B10B/use by June 29
In addition to the logistical and financial crises so many continue to endure as a result of COVID-19, extended social distancing has plunged much of the world into a full-blown existential crisis as well. Shelter-in-place mandates, shuttered businesses and community spaces, and the loss of important social and familial rituals has found us confronting an unprecedented moment of alienation. We are profoundly disoriented by the sense of being estranged from our own lives.
While this feeling of separation is emotionally harrowing, I believe it can also provide an opportunity to consider the abjectly alienated existences we routinely inflict on so many of our fellow beings; the nonhuman animals we breed or capture for the purposes of exploitation. For us, this estrangement from the lives we belong to is temporary. For the animals languishing on farms, in zoos, vivisection laboratories, aquariums, circuses, pet stores, breeding mills, kill shelters, and anywhere else humans have imprisoned our fellow creatures, alienation is the very essence of their existence, and a permanent condition.
A “beef” cow at a “livestock” show. Photo by Unparalleled Suffering Photography.
And while the plights of all of these creatures is urgent and worthy of closer examination, in the interest of time I will limit this reflection to animals who are farmed; not only because they comprise the bulk of my research and advocacy, but because our consumption of animals, and our obsession with meat, is now unavoidably implicated in the current pandemic on multiple levels.
Our Fatal Flesh Obsession
While it is widely believed that COVID-19 jumped to humans via the animal flesh trade, this has led to a disproportionately critical focus on wildlife and “wet” markets. In reality, the “livestock” sector is the single largest source of human zoonotic disease pandemics globally. A 2012 global study mapping human diseases that come from animals found that “While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.”
Indeed, the World Health Organizationstates that “the greatest risk for zoonotic disease transmission occurs at the human-animal interface through direct or indirect human exposure to animals, their products (e.g. meat, milk, eggs…) and/or their environments,” while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that “Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food.”
Just a decade ago, swine flu, an H1N1 influenza virus, jumped from farmed pigs to humans and infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. alone, where it resulted in 12,469 deaths, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, as many as 284,500 people were killed by the swine flu pandemic.
The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 virus. Attributed to having developed from either a swine flu or avian flu virus on a pig or poultry farm (pre-dating so-called factory farms, it should be noted), the pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people globally.
While these pandemics are tragic, they are not inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, they are symptoms of a much deeper sickness, one of our own making, with which we have infected not only ourselves, but whose toxic consequences can now be seen across the globe: in the burning of the Amazon rainforestto make room for ever more cattle ranching; in Australia where the ceaseless bulldozing of koala habitat, and the deliberate mass killing of kangaroos, both on behalf of the beef industry, kill far more of each species every year than the recent wildfires that drew a collective gasp of horror; in the unprecedented rates of wildlife species extinction resulting from habitat loss, whose number one driver is animal agriculture; in the climate crisis to which meat and dairy production contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport combined, leading to more and increasingly devastating droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, while inching global temperatures inexorably toward the point of no return.
A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF
Killing animals is killing us.
And the sickness is not in the scale of our killing; this is not an argument about the evils of industrial animal farming and a need to simply shift to more so-called humane, bucolic forms of exploitation and slaughter. The sickness is the mentality that designates sentient beings as something to be farmed at all. These animals, from whom we have stolen so many dignities; the dignities of self-determination, of bodily and reproductive autonomy, of family, of wildness, and of inherent existential worth, live suspended in a Frankensteinian netherworld of separation, entirely outside the natural order their ancient instincts once belonged to.
A mother goat at a “livestock” show. Unparalleled Suffering Photography
“Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities, and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.
Humans decide where they will live; if they will ever know their mother; if, and how long, they will nurse their babies; when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends; when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species; when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce; what, when, and how much they will eat; how much space they will have, if any; if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam; what mutilations they will be subjected to; what, if any, veterinary care they will receive; and when, where, and how they are going to die.”
Photo by Toronto Cow Save.
What can it mean that in a society obsessed with personal identity and freedom, we have erased the very concepts of identity, liberty, autonomy, and consent from entire populations of sentient individuals without so much as blinking at the moral implications of the indignity and debasement we needlessly inflict on them in the name of profit and palate pleasure?
To degrade any individual, much less entire species, to the lifelong status of property, captive, and commodity, is the grossest devaluing of life, and the ultimate alienation.
A dead hen on the egg conveyor. Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals Media
“When we use other individuals, they have not a thing to call their own; not their bodies, not their children, not even their very lives. Nothing. Reduced to commodities and resources, every moment of their existence is governed by human economics of the service that can be taken from them, the cash value of such substances as milk, eggs and body fibres that can be stripped from their living bodies, and ultimately the value per kilo of their pitiful corpses hacked and sawed to pieces. Our use of them is thorough and utterly pitiless.
These are the innocent victims of our deluded species. They do not ‘live’ as we know and value the word. They endure an existence. They are powerless, brought into the world by violation on an industrial scale for the sole purpose of gratifying human indulgence.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can thrive without causing this devastating harm.”
And here’s author Will Tuttle:
“Harboring the idea of owning another living being is in itself an act of violence, and our outer violence toward nonhuman animals, which is so devastating to us all, springs from this idea… [W]e are never owners of others. We can be their guardians, companions, friends, protectors, admirers, and appreciators, and this blesses us far more than we might think. The move from “owner” to “guardian” frees both the “owners” and the “owned,” and establishes the foundation for peace, freedom, and justice. We are all harmed by the culturally mandated ownership mentality that reduces beings to mere commodities, whether for food, clothing, entertainment, or the myriad of other uses. It is long past time for us to awaken from the cultural trance of owning our fellow beings…”
It is no coincidence that our systematic destruction of animal lives, which is in large part facilitated by our refusal of their subjectivity, is also destroying the earth. As I write this, U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have been identified as the largest hotspot for coronavirus infection in the country, but are being forced to stay open by executive order of Donald Trump in order to supply the flesh fetish. Meanwhile, headlines continue to report “mass meat shortage” fears alongside images of people in full medical masks browsing empty meat refrigerators.
Our culture is in a state of addiction. It is pathological. And it is wrecking our planet, which ought to be incidental to the immorality of needlessly breeding billions of sentient individuals into captivity, reproductive subjugation, and slaughter. Bodies are not commodities. Body parts are not barcodes. Beings are not property.
Until we divest from this poisonous sense of entitlement, this stupor of violence, exploitation, and consumption, our species is doomed.
Baicheng dog market is open on weekends and is one of the main sources for slaughterhouses to source more dogs and owners use these meet ups to sell their pet dog that they no longer want or dogs they have been storing at home to make a quick sale 🤬🤬! @RickyGervais@PeterEgan6pic.twitter.com/fum4tTFhOk
If you’re practicing social distancing and at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus, or just don’t feel comfortable going to the market right now, there are a handful of awesome delivery services that will deliver a meal kits and groceries right to your door.
Please read tips and related information in the comments at the end of the article.
A listeria outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms has killed four people in 17 states and sent 30 to the hospital. Amarita / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The new coronavirus isn’t the only public health threat facing the U.S. right now.
A listeria outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms has killed four people in 17 states and sent 30 to the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday.
“Until we learn more about the source and distribution of the enoki mushrooms, CDC advises that people at higher risk for Listeria infections – pregnant women, adults ages 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or on dialysis – avoid eating any enoki mushrooms labeled as ‘Product of Korea,'” the agency advised.
The CDC warning came a day after California-based Sun Hong Foods recalled all cases of its enoki mushrooms labeled “Product of Korea” after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the company that samples of its product had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes in Michigan.
“Enoki mushrooms are white, with long stems and small caps,” the FDA explained. “They’re usually sold in clusters.”
The mushrooms are popular in East Asian cooking and are also called enokitake, golden needle, futu or lily mushrooms, according to USA Today.
The affected mushrooms were packaged in a white cardboard box, and then in clear plastic bags with green labels, according to the FDA. They have a Universal Product Code of 7 426852 625810 and were distributed in Washington, California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon and Texas. They are carried by J&L Supermarket, Jusgo Supermarket, ZTao Market, New Sang Supermarket and Galleria Market.
The outbreak so far has sickened a total of 36 people in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the CDC. Cases began to emerge between Nov. 23, 2016 and Dec. 13, 2019. The four deaths occurred in California, Hawaii and New Jersey.
People infected with listeriosis usually begin to have symptoms one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, though infections can begin as late as 70 days after exposure.
Pregnant people usually come down with flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle ache, but it can have dangerous consequences for their children. Six of the people to fall ill in the current outbreak were pregnant, and two of these cases resulted in the loss of the infant.
In non-pregnant people, symptoms include flu-like symptoms as well as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. While otherwise healthy people will likely only experience symptoms for a short amount of time, the disease can have deadly consequences for children, elderly people or those with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA.
Pet company Purina Animal Nutrition has issued a massive recall across several of its food brands.
The recalled products — Purina Rabbit Feed, Purina Turkey Feed, Country Acres Rabbit Feed and DuMOR Chick Starter/Grower Feed — received several customer complaints, according to a press release, that the food was causing their pets and animals to fall ill.
The company said it found elevated calcium levels in the food, which could cause severe health issues in rabbits and young chicken and turkeys, and in some cases, death.
In a statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said “elevated calcium carbonate levels can cause health issues and mortality in rabbits. Continued feeding of these products may result in death as a result of feed refusal. Elevated calcium carbonate levels in young chickens and turkeys can lead to leg abnormalities and kidney calcification.”
Symptoms of “excess calcium carbonate in rabbits may include pinkish urine and lethargy due to decreased feed intake,” the agency said. “Chicken and turkeys up to 6 weeks of age may show leg abnormalities associated with excessive dietary calcium carbonate.”
The products in question were produced from Dec. 16, 2019, to Feb. 3, 2020, and sold in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Dakota, Florida, Virginia, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, California, West Virginia, Texas, Hawaii and Arizona.
A list of the formula, item and lot numbers can be found on the FDA’s website.
Impacted customers should discard the food or return it to a local feed store for a refund.
Related Video: More Pet Owners Are Buying Healthy, Organic Pet Food (Provided by Buzz60)
Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.
The CDC issued a food safety alert on Friday advising people not to consume romaine lettuce from the Salinas, CA, region following 40 reported cases of E. coli.
In the alert, the CDC advised that people not eat and businesses not sell any romaine products that have been labeled as created in (or partly in) Salinas. This includes all types of whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes which contain romaine. If your romaine does not include a region or you aren’t sure if it’s romaine, the CDC advises throwing it away.
The CDC also reported 40 confirmed cases of E. coli from 16 states associated with the recall, 28 of which have been hospitalizations. There have been no deaths. You can find a map of reported cases here.
The alert listed the recent salad recall from Missa Bay, LLC which saw thousands of pounds of pre-packaged salad recalled over E. coli fears.
“We are concerned about the potential for contaminated lettuce on store shelves and in people’s refrigerators,” Director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases Dr. Robert Tauxe told USA Today in a statement: “Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, it is critically important to avoid buying or eating romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing area so you can protect yourself and your family.”
If you have any of the romaine lettuce in question in your home, you should dispose of it and wash any surfaces it may have touched.
Romaine lettuce has been linked to several outbreaks in recent years and this most recent health alert said that this outbreak was caused by the same strain of E. coli that caused outbreaks linked to lettuce in 2017 and 2018.
News Editor Kristin Salaky is the news editor at Delish.com covering viral foods, product launches, and food trends.
Salmon lovers in more than 20 states had better check their refrigerators.
“Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled,” the recall notice said.
The Maine-based company is recalling the salmon because it could become contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. Botulism occurs because the bacteria make spores that help them survive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained.
“The spores usually do not cause people to become sick, even when they’re eaten. But under certain conditions, these spores can grow and make one of the most lethal toxins known,” the CDC said.
Those conditions include low oxygen, low acid, low sugar, a certain temperature range, a certain amount of water and low salt. It seems like a combination of the last three is what caused the potential problem with the salmon, as the recall notice explained:
The recall was initiated because the product’s water phase salt (WPS) tested below 3.5%. This was discovered upon re-review of laboratory certificates, which were found to have incorrectly reported WPS levels. Labeling instructions state to keep refrigerated at or below 38ºF and that the product may be frozen. Because the WPS is under 3.5% the product must remain frozen until ready to consume. Product stored in the refrigerator after thawing has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
Water phase salt (WPS) measures the amount of salt relative to moisture in the fish, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. Salt helps to keep moisture out of the fish, which reduces bacteria growth.
“The combination of refrigeration temperatures and prescribed salt levels offer a high degree of assurance that bacterial growth will be retarded,” the centre explained.
Mill Stream Corp. said it froze the salmon before distribution, but retailers may have thawed it before selling it.
“Consumers who purchased the product frozen are advised to keep it frozen until ready to use and thaw under refrigeration immediately before use,” the recall notice advised. “If a consumer has refrigerated product subject to the recall, they should dispose of it immediately even if it does not look or smell spoiled.”
The recalled salmon was sold between March 6 and Sept. 17, 2019 in whole salmon side, two pound, one pound, eight ounce and four ounce vacuum-sealed packages. The packages had the following lot numbers on the back: 7049, 7050, 7051, 7052, 7054, 7056, 7058, 7060, 7062 and 7066.
It was sold and distributed wholesale, online and to retail stores in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia, Michigan and Texas, Newsweek reported.
The symptoms of botulism include weakness, dizziness, double vision and difficulty speaking or swallowing, the FDA said. According to the CDC, botulism can ultimately cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death. No one has been sickened by the salmon to date, but anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.
Around 200 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with botulism every year, Newsweek reported. Most have to be hospitalized, but, if they receive proper medical attention, fewer than five in 100 patients die from the disease.
Company Announcement Date:
November 14, 2019
FDA Publish Date:
November 14, 2019
Animal & Veterinary
Reason for Announcement:
Recall Reason Description
May be contaminated with Salmonella
Go Raw, LLC
Go Raw, LLC, of Cottonwood Utah is recalling its 2lb. frozen bags of “Quest Beef Cat Food” because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product 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 these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
The affected products were nationally distributed through retail stores and are identified with the following UPC 6-91730-17101-8, Lot N128.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
This recall is being initiated after the firm was notified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture when sample was collected and tested positive for Salmonella. The firm did conduct their own test which resulted in a negative result. Salmonella is not evenly distributed throughout a lot which is why it could have been found on a small sample that the Minnesota department of agriculture took.
However, because of their commitment to overall safety and quality, Go Raw, LLC is conducting a voluntary recall of this product. Consumers should also follow the safe handling tips published on the packaging, when disposing of the affected product.
Consumers who have purchased 2lb. bags of Quest Beef Cat Food are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact the company at 801-432-7478, Monday-Friday, 9:00am to 4pm MST.
Company Contact Information
Nicole Lindsley, Go Raw, LLC
So it turns out there is something you can add to the popular spice turmeric to make it bright yellow–something that consumers seem to be big on. The problem is, the ‘something’ you add is lead–a potent neurotoxin that is dangerous at any level due to its link with brain and heart disease and cognitive damage.
Results from a new study reveal that turmeric — a commonly used spice for food and celebratory body paints and often sold as a healing agent and health booster– is sometimes adulterated with a lead-laced chemical compound in Bangladesh, one of the world’s predominant turmeric-growing regions.
Are you ingesting adulterated turmeric?
If you live in Bangladesh there is an increased likelihood you are ingesting turmeric that is adulterated with lead. (At last testing, 30 percent of pregnant women in the area had elevated lead levels in their blood.)
More than 12,000 cases of Pillsbury brand flour have been recalled due to a potential Salmonella contamination, Food Safety News reported Sunday.
The recall was first announced Friday night on the websites of Publix and Winn-Dixie, two grocery stores that carried the product. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) then tweeted out a recall notice Monday.
The recall was issued voluntarily by Pillsbury owner Hometown Food Company and affects around 12,185 cases of Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour with lot codes of 8 292 and a best-by date of April 19, 2020 or 8 293 and a best-by date of April 20, 2020, CNN reported.
“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase for a refund,” Publix wrote in a recall notice reported by Food Safety News.
Neither grocery store’s recall notice mentioned how or when the flour became contaminated. The Winn-Dixie announcement said that there had been no reports of illness associated with the product so far.
Hometown Food Company bought Pillsbury’s baking and desserts product in September, 2018, USA Today reported.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used the recall as a teachable moment on the dangers of eating uncooked flour.
It retweeted the recall with a link to an article on the dangers of raw dough. Most customers think that eating dough is dangerous because of the presence of uncooked eggs, but the FDA explained that flour itself can be contaminated.
“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” senior advisor in FDA’s Office of Food Safety Leslie Smoot, Ph.D. said. If animals relieve themselves in a field, for example, nothing has been done to the flour between harvesting and purchase to kill those bacteria.
In 2016, dozens of people learned this the hard way when they came down with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local authorities investigated the outbreak and identified the bacterium making people sick in flour that had been used in dough eaten raw by some of the patients. In the end, ten million pounds of flour were recalled, the FDA said.
Some health- and environment-conscious consumers and food retailers are starting to think they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Even when they opt for the newer, “healthier and more eco-friendly” food packaging over plastic or Styrofoam for takeout meals there seems to be problems. In this case (as there was previously with Whole Foods food packaging for their deli offerings) there is evidence suggesting that the compost-based, eco-friendly food packaging used by some carryout restaurants and delis contain toxic PFAS chemicals which have been demonstrated to leach into the food–and therefore into the consumer’s body.
Toxic PFAS chemicals may be in your eco-friendly takeout food containers
A recent report released by the New Food Economy, a non-profit newsroom that investigates food-related issues, reported the “cancer-linked” presence of PFAS, also called “forever chemicals,” in the fiber bowls used at fast casual dining spots and other…
July 17, 2019 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella infections due to contaminated pig ears dog treats is expanding to 27 states.
In a related story posted July 3, 2019, by The Dog Food Advisor, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.
Link to Dog Treats Confirmed
The CDC has uncovered scientific evidence to indicate that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of the outbreak.
Pig Ears Dog Treats Sold in Bulk
DNA “fingerprinting” conducted by the CDC has linked the bacteria found on pig ears dog treats with the following 3 genetic strains:
About the Outbreak
As of July 16, 2019, a total of 93 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 27 states.
Twenty ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.
Affected states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
About the Investigation
During the investigation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products.
A common supplier of pig ear dog treats has not been identified. Pet owners can take steps to keep their families healthy while feeding pets.
This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
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.
What to Do?
Consumers should not feed suspected pig ears to their dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.
Even if some of the recalled pig ears were fed to dogs and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to pets.
Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held the recalled pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
June 27, 2019 — The FDA has published its third status report regarding a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of heart disease in dogs known as dilated cardiomyopathy… or DCM.
The Dog Food Advisor initially alerted readers about this issue on July 12, 2018, the day it was first announced by the FDA… and continues to update this report on an ongoing basis.
DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability…
Which can lead to an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure.
Which Breeds Are Affected?
Although the root cause of DCM remains unknown…
And even though initially the condition appeared to be more common in certain breeds…
The FDA has received reports of DCM in a wide range of breeds, including many not genetically prone to the disease.
Likely Linked to Diet
Since announcing its investigation in July 2018…
FDA researchers have observed that most of these DCM cases were associated with animals eating dry dog foods.
Dogs eating raw, semi-moist, and wet diets were also affected.
FDA Distribution of Dog Food Formats
What Types of Dog Food?
Researchers found that over 90 percent of the reported recipes were grain-free.
Most of these animals ate diets that appeared to contain high concentrations of peas, chickpeas, lentils… or various types of potatoes.
Yet some dogs consumed diets that contained grain, too.
FDA Chart Showing Most Common Ingredients Associated with DCM Cases
Brands named most frequently in these reports are depicted in the following FDA graphic…
FDA Chart of Most Frequently Reported Brands in DCM Cases
The FDA reminds readers…
“It’s important to note that the reports include dogs that have eaten grain-free and grain containing foods and also include vegetarian or vegan formulations. They also include all forms of diets: kibble, canned, raw and home-cooked.
“Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.
The Agency goes on to assure dog owners…
“To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States.
“As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM.”
The FDA also makes the following logical observation…
The prevalence of reports in dogs eating a grain-free diet might correlate also to market share: these products have become exceedingly popular over the last several years.
Which would certainly explain the higher number of DCM cases associated with these same brands.
What’s the Cause?
Based on its latest update…
The FDA has still not discovered why certain dog foods may be associated with the development of DCM. In fact, the Agency now believes the connection between diet and DCM is a complex scientific issue involving multiple factors.
Even though it’s not clear exactly what it is about these diets that may be connected to DCM in dogs, there are a number of possible causes.
Taurine deficiency is a well-documented, potential cause of some cases of DCM. Yet it’s not likely to be the only cause.
According to Dr. Lisa Freeman, a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University, “most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do not have low taurine levels”.
It’s not reasonable to assume a taurine deficiency is the definitive cause of DCM.
The One Common Thread
According to the FDA, researchers have uncovered one dietary feature common to a large number of DCM cases…
“The common thread appears to be legumes, pulses (seeds of legumes), and/or potatoes as main ingredients in the food. This also includes protein, starch and fiber derivatives of these ingredients…
“Some reports… indicate that the pets were not eating any other foods for several months to years prior to exhibiting signs of DCM.
Editor’s comment: As previously noted, most of these animals appeared to eat diets that contain high concentrations of plant-based protein “boosters”. These include items like pea protein, dried peas, and potato protein. Or a number of legumes (ingredient splitting) located near the top of the ingredients list.
8 Things You Can Do Right Now
to Lower Your Dog’s Risk
Until the FDA completes its study and releases its final report…
The Dog Food Advisor believes it makes good sense to apply science and logic to all your feeding decisions.
So, consider these commonsense tips…
Since vegetable protein tends to be incomplete (deficient in certain essential amino acids needed by a dog to sustain life), avoid brands that derive most of their protein from legumes and other plant-based protein boosters
Don’t avoid any brand just because it contains peas, legumes or potatoes. In reasonable amounts, studies have not found these ingredients to be toxic
Avoid brands that list pea protein, potato protein, or other plant-based protein concentrates among their first few ingredients
Avoid brands that use the deceptive practice of ingredient splitting to hide the fact their recipes are dominated by non-meat components… like corn, rice or legumes
Consider switching your dog to a quality grain-inclusive product
Focus on the recipe. Not the brand. To satisfy consumer demand, companies sometimes replace the meat in certain products with cheaper plant-based alternatives. Yet they still offer other recipes with superior, meat-rich designs
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. Since no dog food can ever be perfect, consider using diet rotation to lower the risk of endlessly feeding your pet the same imperfect product
Need help? Consider switching your dog’s current diet to one of the many found on our best dog foods lists
What We’re Doing to Help
Since the FDA’s latest status report was published on June 27, 2019, The Dog Food Advisor research team has been working on 3 important projects…
We’re updating all our Best Dog Foods lists to reflect the FDA’s latest findings. This process is tedious and time-consuming. So, please allow up to 3 weeks
We’re revisiting all our grain-free dog food reviews and making changes (when appropriate). You can expect most recipes to retain their current ratings while others will be lowered by up to 1-star
We’re creating a list of “Best Dog Foods with Grain” to help pet parents find a sensible alternative to grain-free diets
There are hundreds of painstakingly prepared reviews and lists that need to be manually edited. You should expect this total project to take months to complete.
The Bottom Line
Final results are still not available.
And there’s no way to know how long the FDA’s investigation will take. Yet the Agency is hopeful that as more data becomes known, its scientists will gain a better understanding of the possible connection between diet and DCM.
Until we know the answer…
And don’t be frightened by all the well-meaning yet misguided advice you’ll surely encounter on the Internet.
Even from uninformed professionals.
Base your feeding decisions on facts and science.
Including accurate label analysis.
Keep in mind…
The Dog Food Advisor has never favored any recipe just because it’s grain free.
Nor should you.
Our ratings are heavily weighted in favor of our estimate of each recipe’s apparent meat content.
Ratings are automatically reduced anytime we find excessive amounts plant-based protein “boosters” (like peas, legumes or non-meat protein concentrates) too close to the top of any ingredients list.
Many of the very best dog foods on the market are grain free…
And they’re made by some of the most respected companies in the USA and Canada.
We’re confident the industry will quickly adapt its recipes to any decisive conclusions reached by the FDA’s future findings.
And of course, we’ll make any relevant adjustments to our content as needed to reflect these scientific findings (once they become available).
In the meantime…
Our Very Best Advice
Since there’s no such thing as a perfect dog food…
And because built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed endlessly… day after day for a lifetime.
You may wish to consider diet rotation when feeding your pet.
Keep in mind…
We can update you the moment the FDA releases its findings.
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard