Human Salmonella illness linked to raw pet food

A confirmed case of Salmonella Infantis illness has been linked to a raw pet food manufactured by Arrow Reliance, Inc., dba Darwin’s Natural Pet Products (Darwin’s), according to updated information released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The infected individual is one of 92 people infected with a multidrug-resistant Salmonella Infantis outbreak since the beginning of 2018 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The individual reported having become ill after household pets ate raw ground chicken pet food manufactured by Darwin’s. According to a spokesperson for CDC, this individual did not report any pet illnesses. The Salmonella Infantis outbreak has spread over 29 states and hospitalized 21 individuals. Outbreak victims reported eating various brands and types of chicken products. A single, common supplier of either raw chicken products or live chickens has not been identified, according to CDC. The outbreak strain has been recovered from samples of raw chicken products, from live chickens, and from raw chicken pet food. According to a spokesperson for FDA, the outbreak strain is likely related to the Salmonella strain recovered from an adult dog that had recurring diarrhea as a result of consuming contaminated raw chicken dog food manufactured by Darwin’s. The raw pet food fed to the infected dog also tested positive for Salmonella. Darwin’s initiated a total of five voluntary recalls between October 17, 2016, and March 26, 2018, after being informed that Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and E. coli O128 were found in some of the company’s raw pet food products. CDC is reminding pet owners that Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria in raw pet food can make pets sick. Household members also can become infected by handling the raw food or when caring for an infected pet. FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)