It is just as likely for dry cat or dog food to contain bacteria, fungus, molds, and parasites as it is for raw food. Many people believe the dry food is safe and therefore it is not handled as carefully as raw food may be, therefore it is more likely to produce infection and even outbreaks. Small children should never be allowed to handle dry pet food without proper supervision and safety protocols.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local officials to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infantis infections. FDA became involved in early April when the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported detecting Salmonella from an intact package of Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs, collected during retail surveillance sampling. Diamond Pet Food was notified of the sampling results, and agreed to voluntarily recall this product on April 6, 2012.
An additional finding of Salmonella in a sample taken by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, from an opened bag of Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food collected from the home of an ill person, and an unopened bag of the product collected from a retail store led to a recall of that product on April 26, 2012.
A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by FDA during an inspection at the South Carolina production facility also yielded Salmonella infantis, which led to a recall of that product on April 30, 2012. See
Through interviews by state public health officials, FDA’s review of consumer complaints, and from a comparison of pet products from human exposure, some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pets Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have now been linked to human Salmonella infections.
According to CDC reports, a total of 15 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella infantis have been reported from 9 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). One new ill person was reported from Pennsylvania. Additionally, one ill person has been reported from Canada.
Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began between October 8, 2011 and April 16, 2012. Ill persons range in age from less than one year old to 82 years old and the median age is 47 years. Seventy-three percent of patients are female. Among the 10 patients with available information, 5 (50%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after April 13, 2012 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.
For more info on the recalls, please see the FDA CVM’s website.