Maker: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
Cause: Potential for salmonella and E. coli
Announcement: FDA report dated March 26, 2018 (archived here)
What was recalled: The following raw dog foods, sold in 2 lb. flexible film packages:
- ZooLogics Turkey Meals for Dogs, Lot #44127, manufactured Feb. 4, 2018
- ZooLogics Chicken With Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Lot #4403743887, manufactured Feb. 7, 2018
- Natural Selections Chicken With Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Lot #43887, manufactured Jan. 30, 2018
- Natural Selections Duck With Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, Lot #44147, manufactured Feb. 5, 2018
This recall announcement — the latest in a string of Darwin’s recalls — was made public by the FDA in a blistering report chronicling numerous problems with this pet food over the past couple of years. At least 1 kitten has died of a salmonella infection after consuming one of the products, and other pets have reportedly been sickened.
The FDA seems to take particular exception to the fact that Darwin’s and its manufacturer, Arrow Reliance Inc., issue “silent recalls” rather than alerting the general public. “Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has notified its customers directly of the recalls, but has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls,” the FDA notes.
The agency maintains a “zero-tolerance policy” on salmonella and other bacteria in pet food because of the risk to both pets and humans. Pets can get sick from salmonella, listeria or E. coli — and they can also pass these bacteria on to their human companions. “Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products,” the FDA says.
Meanwhile, Darwin’s has been waging a bit of a war with the FDA, saying that the agency’s zero-tolerance policy itself is to blame for all the recalls of its products. Darwin’s founder Gary Tashjian has claimed that any pathogens in the pet food “are at such low levels that dogs and cats typically can process them without any issue.”
One thing’s for certain: The FDA isn’t holding back any punches. The agency seems to be on a mission to make sure consumers know that Darwin’s has a “pattern of contamination” and “a history of … recalls and multiple complaints.” And the FDA clearly feels that Darwin’s isn’t being transparent enough about these ongoing problems.
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There were more recalls in 2018. See the previous one:
(Or browse recalls by brand name)