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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting pet owners not to feed Performance Dog brand frozen raw pet food to their companion animals.

FDA issued the warning after finding Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes in portions of two different finished products, sampled during an inspection of the manufacturer’s production facility.

The situation

Performance Dog raw pet food, lot code 072219 was found to contain both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. This product, which has already entered the marketplace, was sold to customers frozen in two-pound pouches.

The second sample, which tested positive for Salmonella only, has not yet been distributed.

As Performance Dog products do not have lot code information printed on retail packaging, FDA is cautioning pet owners not to use Performance Dog frozen raw pet food produced on or after July 22, 2019.

Performance Dog raw pet food is manufactured by Bravo Packing, Inc. of Carney’s Point, New Jersey.

Bravo Packing has not announced a product recall as of this writing.

The history

This is the third occasion in recent years in which Bravo Packing has shipped contaminated product.

On September 12, 2018, the company recalled all Performance Dog frozen raw pet food products after FDA found Salmonella in a sample collected during an agency inspection.

In January 2016, FDA analyzed a sample of horse meat pursuant to a complaint from one Bravo Packing’s customers. According to the complaint, four exotic cats fell ill after being fed the meat. Two of the animals had to be euthanized.

The sample of horse meat, as well as a pre-euthanasia blood sample from one of the animals, tested positive for pentobarbital.

The risk

Salmonella

Dogs are less likely than humans to show symptoms of Salmonella infection. Nevertheless, they can carry Salmonella in their digestive system for an extended period of time, and can shed the pathogen into the environment, putting people and other companion animals at risk of illness.

Symptoms of Salmonella infections in humans typically include abdominal pain, diarrhea and a low-grade fever. Occasionally, the pathogen can enter the bloodstream and travel to other organs, producing a dangerous illness.

Listeria monocytogenes

Although dogs may become infected with Listeria monocytogenes, they show symptoms only infrequently. However, even asymptomatic animals are able to transmit the bacteria to their human companions.

Symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes in humans are varied, but are usually mild. Pregnant women who acquire an infection may transmit the disease to the fetus, resulting in premature delivery, stilbirth, or an infected newborn. The elderly, the very young, and people with weakened immune systems are at risk of more severe illness, too.

What consumers should do

  • If you have any of the affected product, stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
  • 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.
  • Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces 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.
  • Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the affected product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
  • If you think you have symptoms of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes infection, consult your health care provider.
  • If you think your pet has symptoms of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes infection, consult your veterinarian. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
  • FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.
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