On April 12 the FDA yet again began an investigation of the Diamond Pet Foods Gaston, S.C. manufacturing plant. Its week-long inspection of Diamond’s Gaston facility found numerous violations.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration report there were four observations noted.
All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.
Specifically, no microbiological analysis is conducted or there is no assurance that incoming animal fat will not introduce pathogens into their production and cause contamination of finished product. Also, the firm’s current sampling procedure for animal digest does preclude potential for adulteration after sampling and during storage in warehouse. On 4/13/12, an employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.
Failure to provide hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities at each location in the plant where needed.
Specifically, there are no facilities for hand washing or hand sanitizing in the production areas where there is direct contact with exposed finished feed/food.
Failure to maintain equipment, containers and utensils used to convey, hold, and store food in a manner that protects against contamination.
Specifically, paddles in conveyor (South or Middle conveyor leading to the screeners going to packaging) were observed to have gouges and cuts, which exhibited feed residues. The damage to the paddles may allow for harborage areas for microorganisms and are difficult to clean and sanitize.
Failure to maintain equipment so as to facilitate cleaning of the equipment.
Specifically, firm utilizes cardboard, duct tape, and other non cleanable surfaces on equipment. These materials sere observed to have residues adhering. The foam gaskets around access doors to the bucket elevators sere observed in deteriorating condition and exhibited an accumulation of feed residues and dust.
The inspectional observations do not represent a final determination regarding the plant’s compliance with regulations, according to the report.
A week after the inspection was over the company issued a recall on a single production run of its Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul brand. The recalls just keep on coming.
“Diamond handled it the wrong way,” says Mike Sagman, creator and editor of DogFoodAdviser, a consumer site that rates dog food products and follows pet-food industry news, including recalls. “The company knew more than they were letting out, and they let it dribble out over the month instead of releasing it all in one document. The damage is greater when you aren’t transparent.”
On May 11, 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted “A total of 15 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported from 9 states. Additionally, one ill person has been reported from Canada. Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections.”
Just so you will be prepared in the event of exposure. The symptoms in pets typically arise about 72 hours following exposure. Pet symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, dehydration, drooling, panting, and abnormally fast heart rate. Human symptoms are within 8-48 hours of ingesting Salmonella. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, moderate fever and occasional chills. If you or your pet have been exposed and have any of the symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Here are the products that have already been recalled:
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
- Country Value
- Diamond Naturals
- Premium Edge
- Diamond Pet Professional
- Diamond Pet 4Health
- Taste of the Wild
- Kirkland Signature
- Natural Balance
- Solid Gold
Salmonella is something you should not ignore, it is serious for both your pet and for you. If you have confirmed your dog’s food is one of the products being recalled, stop feeding or handling it immediately. If you are in doubt because you have discarded the package, be safe and stop using the product.
Contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 AM to 6 PM EST if you would like a replacement product, refund or are unsure of the product you have.
You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area. Or go to fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.