FDA Finds Salmonella and Listeria in Hare Today Pet Food
Not a Product Recall
January 23, 2019 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners not to feed a specific lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs because Salmonella and Listeria bacteria were discovered in the product.
What Products Are Affected?
The product is available in four sizes and varieties. All included the processing date of 12.04.2018 on the back of the bag:
What Caused the Warning?
The FDA collected this sample while following up on a consumer complaint in which a kitten became sick with Salmonella after eating the affected product.
The specific lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs that the sick kitten ate was not available for testing.
The FDA collected samples from lot 12.04.2018, which tested positive for both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
Although the Salmonella isolated from the feces of the sick kitten did not match the strain found in the product sample, Federal law requires that all pet food not be contaminated with pathogens, including Salmonella and Listeria because of the potential impact on human and animal health.
Why Is the FDA Issuing This Alert?
The FDA is issuing this alert because the affected lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs represents a serious threat to human and animal health and is adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because it contains Salmonella and Listeriamonocytogenes.
The FDA continues to work with the company on the affected product.
What is Salmonella and what are the symptoms of Salmonella infection?
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 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream 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 without showing signs of being sick.
What are the symptoms of Listeria infection (listeriosis)?
According to CDC, listeriosis can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.
Pregnant women: 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.
People other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
People with invasive listeriosis, a more serious form of the disease, usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria.
Some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure or as early as the same day of exposure.
Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.
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 health care provider.
Listeria 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.
Once Listeria gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination may continue to spread.
If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
Why Is the FDA Concerned
About Salmonella and Listeria?
Pet foods contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health.
Pets can get sick from Salmonella and Listeria and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it onto their human companions without appearing to be ill.
The FDA is aware of recent cases in which humans and/or animals have gotten sick from exposure to contaminated pet foods (Salmonella-human cases, Salmonella-kitten, Salmonella-kitten, dog).
Once Salmonella and/or Listeria become established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement.
And the contamination will continue to spread.
Because animals can shed the bacteria when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home.
Federal law, including the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, requires that all pet food not be contaminated with pathogens, including Salmonella and L. mono.
Pet food manufacturers must effectively manage sourcing of ingredients, processing and packing to control pathogens.
Without an effective control, such as cooking, raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria.
Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria.
Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products.
The FDA is the Federal agency that regulates pet food, while the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates meat and poultry for human consumption.
USDA-regulated raw meat and poultry products are intended to be cooked and carry instructions to cook the product to a safe temperature.
However, raw pet food products are intended to be served without further cooking, which creates a potential health hazard for people and pets exposed to the product.
Company Response to FDA Warning
Click here to read the company’s response to the FDA warning and posted on Facebook https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/fda-finds-salmonella-listeria-in-hare-today-gone-tomorrow-pet-food/.
What to Do?
If you have the affected product in your possession, stop feeding it to your pets.
And throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and 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.
Clean up the pet’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.
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Since 2008, there have been 47 documented cases of dogs dying during or after a PetSmart grooming appointment in 14 states, according to a disturbing new report published Sept. 20 on NJ.com. The number of deaths is probably even higher, since dog grooming is an unregulated industry.
After the December 2017 death of an English bulldog named Scruffles at the PetSmart in Flemington, NJ, reporters Sophie Nieto-Muñoz and Alex Napoliello began a six-month investigation into the company. They reviewed lawsuits, media reports and veterinary records, and interviewed 100 pet owners as well as PetSmart employees, lawyers, grooming experts and veterinarians.
The interviews with the owners of dogs who died as a result of being groomed at PetSmart are heartbreaking. Among them are Nick Pomilio, who in February 2017 took his English bulldog, Capone, to a store in the Philadelphia area for what should have been a simple nail trim.
The appointment lasted nearly an hour, instead of the usual 15 minutes. Afterward, Capone was unable to walk, so store employees wheeled him in a shopping cart to Pomilio’s car. Capone died on the way home.
“I’ll never forget that last look he gave me,” Pomilio told NJ.com, crying at the memory. “You don’t take the dog to get its nails clipped and it winds up dead as a doornail.”
PetSmart Response to Grooming Deaths
PetSmart refused to answer any questions for the report, but insisted in a response that it has “the highest grooming safety standards in the industry.”
The company refuted the number and cause of the dog deaths. It said it had no records of grooming some of the dogs mentioned in the report, while other dogs may have had underlying health issues that contributed to their deaths. “Any assertion that there is a systemic problem is false and fabricated,” it stated.
So, how many dogs have actually died, according to PetSmart’s official records? Although one of the company’s stated core values is transparency, it will not release the numbers.
Most of the documented deaths – 32 of them – occurred in 2015 or later. It’s probably no coincidence that PetSmart was bought by the private equity firm, BC Partners, in 2015. Since then, according to some longtime employees, there’s been growing pressure to increase the number of dogs groomed each day.
The causes of these deaths are difficult to prove, partly because of nondisclosure agreements signed by PetSmart customers and confidentiality agreements signed by pet owners who reached court settlements with PetSmart. These are some of the potential reasons cited by the NJ.com report:
Nearly half the dogs were English bulldogs and other short-nosed breeds and mixes that can have difficulty breathing in stressful situations and hot environments, such as a dryer.
Trainees with little experience are sometimes put to work due to short staffing.
Groomers, pressured to meet sales quotas, believe there is retaliation for speaking up about safety issues.
In response to media attention to the death of Scruffles, PetSmart announced an action plan for improvement that went into effect in February. The company said an independent task force of grooming industry experts would review its training and safety standards. It would install cameras in grooming salons and and hold open houses, so pet owners could meet groomers and inspect the facilities. The company would offer specialized care for short-nosed breeds.
Despite these promises, one month later, a corgi named Abby died during a grooming appointment at the PetSmart in Toms River, NJ. An employee called Abby’s owner, Chuck Crawford, and coldly told him his beloved dog was dead and where to pick up her body.
Pet owners might want to consider Crawford’s pledge. “I’ll never take my dog to a PetSmart or Petco or any of them ever again,” he told NJ.com in April. “I’ll give them a bath in my garage.”
How to Find a Safe Groomer
You may be surprised that, unlike beauticians and manicurists who work on humans, pet groomers are not required to be certified or licensed (aside from a business license) in any U.S. state. Pet groomers are regulated in Miami and New York City, but there are currently no statewide or federal laws regulating this industry.
Due to this lack of regulation, “there’s a lack of transparency of safety records, enforced standard training and little public accounting when things go wrong,” according to the NJ.com report. “Causes of death can be hard to prove, lawyers are hesitant to take cases and, because pets are considered property, owners can recoup very little money in court. As a result, exactly how many pets die, and why, remains largely unknown.”
To ensure your pet doesn’t become a statistic, the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and other animal welfare groups recommend you ask a groomer the following questions before leaving your pet in their care:
Ask if the groomer has completed a training program and belongs to any professional groups, such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America.
Make sure the groomer has several years of experience and can provide references.
Check out the grooming facility to see if it looks and smells clean, is well-lit and the cages are the appropriate size.
Please join more than 76,000 people who have signed this Care2 petition demanding a temporary halt to all PetSmart grooming until the company meets safer pet grooming standards. https://nackpets.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/petition-close-petsmart-grooming-too-many-dogs-are-dying-there/
If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.
Photo credit: KaraSuva
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United Airlines has had a longtime sketchy track record for keeping pets safe during flights. Perhaps more important than a ban would be a trenchant review of their pet-care procedures overall.
United Airlines will ban 25 different pet breeds when it resumes flying pets this summer, four months after a dog’s death prompted the airline to review its policies for transporting animals.
The carrier will again accept dogs and cats in the cargo hold starting July 9 if the animal’s guardian is booked on the same flight… United is also teaming with American Humane (the org that oversees Hollywood’s use of animals) to “improve the well-being of all pets that travel on [their flights].”
United announced the changes less than two months after a bruising week of public-relations fiascoes involving dogs. A French bulldog died March 12 after a flight attendant had the pet and its animal crate placed in an overhead bin. In a separate incident, the airline sent a Kansas-bound German shepherd to Japan. United also took criticism over its record of animal deaths in 2017, when it accounted for 18 of the 24 animals that died on a major airline.
Breeds banned from flying United Airlines
The airline will no longer allow 21 dog and four cat breeds that are prone to physical problems from heat or other travel stress.
Effective June 18, 2018, United PetSafe will NOT accept reservations for the following brachycephalic (or short- or snub-nosed) dogs and cats and strong-jawed dog breeds*, out of concern for higher adverse health risks:
American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull
American Staffordshire Terrier/”Amstaff”
Old English Bulldogges
Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel
Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel
Boerboel/South African Mastiff
Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff
Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff
Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff
Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff
Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila
Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano
Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta
Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol
Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa
Staffordshire Bull Terrier/”Staffys”
- Including mixed breeds
Source: See the list of breed updates
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Complete details of the Smucker Dog Food Recall of February 2018 as reported by the editors of the Dog Food Advisor
By: Laura Goldmanh
January 25, 2018
We’re all aware of the H3N2 flu epidemic that’s made tens of thousands of people sick, but did you know the highly contagious canine influenza (CI) is also spreading across the United States and parts of Canada?
Dogs are becoming infected with the canine influenza virus (CIV) through direct contact with other dogs, nasal secretions, contaminated objects like food bowls and leashes, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It’s important to note that dogs rarely get sick from humans with the flu, and there’s no evidence (for now, at least) that dogs with the virus can transmit it to humans – but cats in an Indiana shelter became sickened with it in 2016.
There are currently two strains of the canine influenza virus (CIV) in the U.S.: H3N8 and H3N2. The H3N8 strain, which originated in horses and then spread to dogs, was first identified in 2004 in Florida’s racing greyhounds and has since spread to dozens of other states. Three years ago, the H3N2 strain caused a CI outbreak in Chicago. It was the first time this strain sickened dogs (and cats) outside Asia, where it had previously been identified.
All dogs are at risk for getting the flu. CI is deadliest for puppies and senior dogs, as well as dogs with weakened immune systems. Fortunately, the death rate is under 10 percent.
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.
Symptoms to Watch For
Dogs with the flu virus may show symptoms like the following:
A persistent cough
Thick nasal discharge
Fever of 104 to 105 degrees
Lack of appetite
If your dog has any of these symptoms, go see a veterinarian. Because CI symptoms are similar to kennel cough and other illnesses, your veterinarian can run laboratory tests that will diagnose if your dog has the flu. If that’s the case, your vet may prescribe an antibiotic to fight secondary infections and an anti-inflammatory to reduce fever and pain. In severe cases, your dog may need fluid therapy to restore hydration, and hospitalization may be necessary.
About 20 percent of infected dogs show no symptoms at all, but they can still be contagious.
Does Your Dog Really Need a Flu Shot?
Fortunately, just as for people, a flu shot is available for dogs. Although it may not completely prevent dogs from getting sick, it can significantly decrease the symptoms, severity and spread of infection.
The vaccine can be given to dogs that are six weeks of age and older. The initial two vaccines are given to dogs six weeks apart. After that, dogs receive an annual booster shot.
The AVMA refers to the flu shot as a “lifestyle” vaccination, meaning it’s recommended for dogs that are frequently exposed to other dogs at parks, boarding facilities, grooming salons and other places. You should confer with your veterinarian to see if your dog needs the vaccination. Be aware that many animal hospitals, kennels and other facilities now require all dogs to be vaccinated against CI.
Prevent the Spread of Canine Influenza
In addition to vaccinating your dog against CI, here are some ways you can prevent the flu from spreading:
Isolate dogs that are infected or have been around an infected dog. Dogs infected with H3N8 should be isolated from other dogs for at least three weeks, while those infected with H3N2 should be isolated for at least one week.
Wash your hands after you touch other dogs. The virus can live on our hands for 12 hours (and on our clothing for 24 hours).
Thoroughly clean food and water bowls, crates and other shared objects. The viruses don’t typically survive longer than 48 hours in the environment, and can be killed by disinfectants (just make sure any cleansers you use are pet friendly).
Since CI can quickly spread in places where dogs are in close contact with each other, please sign and share this petition urging U.S. animal shelters to ensure all dogs stay healthy and adoptable by being vaccinated against the flu.
Photo credit: gerson_rodriguez
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