Report by Paula Antolini, January 16, 2019, 12:59PM EDT
FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs Due to Salmonella
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- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners that A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs, lot 2018 20/08 20, has tested positive for Salmonella.
- Lystn, LLC, also doing business as Answers Pet Food, is the brand owner of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs and has recalled the affected lot in Nebraska, but has not implemented a nationwide recall.
- If you have this lot of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs, throw it away.
- Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infections should consult their health care providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection.
What is the problem?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that pet owners should not feed A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs, lot 2018 20/08 20, after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) tested and found Salmonella in the food.
Why is the FDA issuing this warning?
The FDA is issuing this warning for A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs, lot 2018 20/08 20, because it represents a serious threat to human and animal health and is adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Lystn recalled A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs, lot 2018 20/08 20 from distribution and retail locations in the state of Nebraska on December 20, 2018, but has not recalled the product nationwide. The FDA is still working with Lystn to gather comprehensive distribution information and is issuing this warning to alert consumers about this public health risk.
What do I need to do?
Pet owners who have this lot of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs should throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it. Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the food 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. Clean up the pet’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.
What is Salmonella and what are the symptoms of Salmonella infection?
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. People infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
Why is the FDA concerned about Salmonella in pet food?
Pet foods contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from Salmonella, and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it onto their human companions without appearing to be ill. Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination will continue to spread.
Because animals can shed the bacteria 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.
Federal law requires all pet food to be free of pathogens, including Salmonella. Pet food manufacturers must effectively manage sourcing of ingredients, processing and packing to control pathogens. Without an effective control, such as cooking, raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain pathogens such as Salmonella. Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products.
How can I report a pet illness?
People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have dogs tested for Salmonella may do so through the Vet-LIRN Network if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about this and other pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.