UPDATE: Chicken recalls having trickle-down effect on pet food products

By: J. Werner
| Published 07/28/2015


UPDATE: August 11, 2015

Nationwide recall on chicken products also affecting pet food industry.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled frozen raw cat food for possible Salmonella contamination. Read Northwest Farm Food Cooperative Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Raw Cat Food Due To Possible Salmonella Contamination.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled 1.5 million pounds of chicken...raw, frozen, breaded, stuffed, etc., for a possible Salmonella risk (see Aspen Foods recalls over 1,978,680 pounds of chicken) is now seeing a trickle-down effect in the food chain, as pet food manufacturers are recalling chicken-based products.

Salmonella found in pet food has sparked two separate recalls to pet owners. Dog food made by Nature’s Valley is being recalled after FDA testing found Salmonella in a sample of 7-pound Instinct Raw Chicken Bites.

Those recalled bites and patties are marked with a “best by” date of April 27, 2016, and were sold in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. To date, no illness have been reported according to the company. The official recall notice is as follows:

ST. Louis, MO - Nature’s Variety has announced a voluntary recall of their Instinct® Raw Chicken Formula for dogs with a “Best By” date of 04/27/16 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has the symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The affected products are limited to the Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Frozen Diets packaged in the following forms:

  • UPC# 769949611431 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 4 lb.; Best By 04/27/16
  • UPC# 769949611448 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 7 lb.; Best By 04/27/16
  • UPC# 769949611486 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Patties for Dogs 6 lb.; Best By 04/27/16

The “Best By” date is located on the back of the package below the seal. The affected product was distributed through retail stores in the United States and limited distribution in Canada. No other Nature’s Variety products are affected.

No illnesses have been reported to date. Even though no illnesses have been reported, consumers should follow the Simple Handling Tips published on the Nature’s Variety package when disposing of the affected product.

Nature’s Variety became aware of a potential issue after receiving notification from the FDA that a routine surveillance sample of seven pound Instinct Raw Chicken Bites for dogs tested positive for Salmonella.

Consumers feeding the affected product should discontinue use and monitor their pet’s health, and contact their veterinarian if they have concerns. Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or exchange by either returning the product in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.

Consumers with additional questions can call our Consumer Relations team at 888-519-7387 from 8 am to 7 pm Central time, 7 days a week during the recall. Or, consumers can email Nature’s Variety directly via cservice@naturesvariety.com.

Reed Howlett, Chief Executive Officer of Nature’s Variety, stated, “At Nature’s Variety we take quality and safety very seriously. We believe that under all circumstances, health and safety comes first, and we are committed to providing the best possible nutrition for pets.”

In a separate recall also involving fears of Salmonella contamination, some 105 cases of “Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats — Chub” are being recalled, the Connecticut-based Bravo! Pet Foods said. Those cases were sold to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers and directly to customers in the U.S.

The 2-pound bags are marked with a “best by” date of Dec. 5, 2016, and the UPC code 829546211028.

Three other Bravo products are being recalled even though they did not test positive for the bacterium, the company said.

(Photo: FDA)

These products were made in the same facility on the same day as the pet food that tested positive for Salmonella and are being recalled “out of an abundance of caution”:

Salmonella can sicken pets who eat the food and their owners who handle the food. Symptoms of Salmonella infection in pets include lethargy, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will experience less severe symptoms, including decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. The symptoms are similar in humans sickened by the bacterium.

Even if a pet doesn’t show symptoms, it can still be a carrier, able to infect other animals and humans. Pet owners whose furry family members ate the recalled food are urged to call their veterinarian.

The company has said that consumers can take the dog food in its original packaging or with proof of purchase, back to the store where they bought it, for a complete refund or exchange.