January 25, 2019

Second Raw Pet Food Maker Refuses to Recall Product

For the second time this week, a raw pet food manufacturer is disputing FDA claims of contaminated products. Faulty testing, they say, is to blame.
By Jennifer Nessel
Earlier this week, the FDA warned pet owners to refrain from feeding their pets a specific lot of raw food manufactured by Pennsylvania company Hare Today Gone Tomorrow after samples of the product tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

The warning includes 4 varieties and sizes of Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, all of which have the processing date of 12.04.2018 located on the back of the bag:
  • Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 1 lb, Fine Ground
  • Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 2 lb, Fine Ground
  • Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 3 lb, Coarse Ground
  • Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 5 lb, Fine Ground
The product is identified as “Ground Chicken” on the product labeling and as “Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs” on the Hare Today website.

Why the Warning?
FDA testing was prompted by a consumer complaint after a kitten was diagnosed with Salmonella infection after eating this product. However, the food tested by the FDA was not from the same lot as what the kitten had eaten, and the strains of Salmonella isolated from the kitten’s feces and from the tested product were different.

The FDA has instructed pet owners who have purchased any products from this lot to stop feeding it to their pets and throw it away in a secure container and thoroughly clean and disinfect refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored as well as bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces with which the food or pet may have had contact.

Why the Pushback?
On its Facebook page, Hare Today stated that it will not issue a recall for this product because the FDA mishandled the samples it tested. Specifically, Hare Today did not receive chain of custody or cold chain verification from the FDA on any of the tested samples.

Hare Today is among other raw pet food manufacturers that believe the FDA is unfairly targeting them with standards that are higher than those set by the US Department of Agriculture to test human-grade food.

This is the second raw pet food manufacturer this week to refute an FDA alert regarding one of its products. Lystn, dba Answers Pet Food, noted this about the testing done on one of its products: “The initial sample sent from Nebraska may have been cross contaminated in the lab, transport or elsewhere and should not be considered a representative sample.”

It is noteworthy that no illnesses have been confirmed in either pets or people after consumption of or contact with products from either of these companies.

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

Sign up to receive the latest news in veterinary medicine.

Latest Issue

Client Education

January Client Handout  

American Veterinarian