From the Honest Dog Blog comes the newest list of brands recalled for Salmonella contamination, as of Monday, May 7 2012:
The number of brands included in the rolling pet food recall related to salmonella contamination at a Diamond Pet Food manufacturing plant has now grown to 13. The updated list includes:
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
- Kirkland (C0stco brand)
- Country Value
- Diamond Naturals
- Premium Edge
- Taste of the Wild
- Natural Balance
- NEW! Solid Gold
Read the entire post for more details, including information on possible incorrect production codes and SKUs.
All of the brands listed are brands which are co packed by Diamond for the individual manufacturers. “Co packed” is industry speak for ‘I’m going to hire someone else to make pet food for me’. It’s also sometimes referred to as Private Label manufacturing, and basically it means that you can decide to produce your own brand of kibble, without even having to own your own plant. You just dream up the marketing, and the co packers will help you to choose a recipe, and will look after all of the pesky day to day stuff, like actually manufacturing your pet food.
It might surprise some people to learn that almost all ’boutique brand’ pet food kibble is now co packed. Of course, what would be even more surprising would be if you can manage to find out anything at all. Most pet food companies are NOT going to advertise that they don’t make their own food – in fact, they’ll go out of their way to not tell you, to stall you, or to otherwise mislead you if you ask them directly. Even checking lists via sites like Wikipedia won’t help – on the current page for Diamond Pet Foods, only seven of the recalled foods are listing as being manufactured by Diamond.
My advice? Don’t take no answer as an acceptable answer. If your pet food will not confirm, equivocally , that they are made in the company’s OWN production facility, then assume that they are co packed, and walk away. At this time, the only brands that I personally know for sure are made in a single brand production facility are:
- Purina (Proplan, Proplan Selects, Purina One)
Royal Canin– removed from list, apparently they still co pack via Elmira Pet Products
- Champion Pet Foods (Orijen and Acana, and Canadian made from Canadian ingredients)
If you know of others, please leave them in the comments.
Of course, a better choice is to make this the time to switch to raw food. If you’re one of the people who has always thought you ‘can’t feed raw because of salmonella’, ask yourself this – do you see any raw food on this recall list? Or the last one, or the one before that?
Raw food manufacturers use fresh ingredients, and I don’t know of a single one that is not made in house. Even better, raw feeders are careful about sanitation, because they know they are handling raw meat. They wash their bowls, their hands, their counters and their utensils, and they keep leftovers covered in the fridge.
People who feed dry, on the other hand, have a false sense of security about how safe their food is from contamination. In this case, that false security has led to 14 people so far left seriously ill from salmonella poisoning.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that a few years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday.
At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Mo.-based company.
“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.
People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said.
If you don’t change anything else, at least make this the time that you start to take more care with how you handle dry foods. Use a utensil to scoop food from bags, and wash everything that comes into contact with the food after feeding, including washing bowls in hot, soapy water. If you are concerned that your food might be contaminated, return it to your retailer.