Feds, state investigating Tukwila pet food over repeated salmonella contamination

Tukwila-based Darwin’s Natural Pet Products’ raw pet food is under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Washington Department of Agriculture over a pattern of salmonella and listeria contamination in its products.

Tukwila-based Darwin’s Natural Pet Products’ raw pet food is under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Washington Department of Agriculture over a pattern of salmonella and listeria contamination in its products.

The FDA, in making the announcement Monday, warned it has a “zero-tolerance policy” for salmonella or other pathogenic bacteria in all pet food, meaning the agency will take action, “as appropriate,” against any pet food found to be contaminated with the bacteria.

There have been multiple complaints and four recalls associated with Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance, from Oct. 17, 2016, to as recently as Saturday, the FDA says.

In each case, it says Darwins recalled the products after being alerted of salmonella and/or listeria monocytogenes found in samples of its raw pet food.

The company says it only sells its products online through direct-to-consumer sales.

The FDA says it has investigated six complaints of illness and death, including the death of one kitten from a severe systemic salmonella infection. The salmonella isolated from the kitten was analyzed using whole genome sequencing and found to be indistinguishable from the salmonella isolated from a closed package from the same lot of Darwin’s Natural cat food that the kitten ate, the FDA says.

In addition, the FDA says it knows of complaints of at least three animals injured by bone shards in Darwin’s products.

Darwin’s Natural has notified its customers directly of the recalls, but, so far, has not issued any public notification announcing the recalls, the FDA says.

The issue is of particular public-health importance…

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