Just read this in local on-line news this morning. Evidently no dogs have been reported sick, but 14 people in various states have reported salmonella, the common tie is pet foods made at this Diamond plant in SC. Same plant several years produced a food with a toxic mold that killed quite a few dogs (didn't inspect a shipment of corn). This new event started with a Diamond recall but it has spread, according to this from the news this morning.
"The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild."
Sharron Hurlbut and Anne, thank you thank you thank you!
I am thinking this recall is much bigger than they are saying. There was some comment about the recall being for the eastern U.S. Well, we live on the west coast of Canada!
Too close to my heart this time! Kipawa eats Taste of the Wild! I had bought a new bag a couple of days ago. When I opened it each kibble kind of looked more puffy/fuller and within a minute he threw it up! I'm pissed at myself for not going with my gut instinct. The food DID look different and it actually smelled stronger.
If it is salmonella, is there a way of getting rid of any of it left in Kipawa's system? He is doing totally fine today, has peed and pooped properly and has his standard energy level.
What the hell is going on with all of these recalls? Is it the premixes? Because as far as I know, many of these companies are totally independant from each other? Back to the pet store it goes today.
Any recommendations folks, for a kibble that is safe, good, and grain and corn free?
Thank you for this update.
Kipawa (Fran) you might try Evo , Orijen, or Fromms. You probably know this but Orijen is made in Canada.
Thank you so much for the food suggestions. I think I will try the Orijen.
All of these pet food recalls seem to be getting more and more frequent.
Good lord folks, I am ready to boil over!
I contacted the Diamond group responsible for the recall (had to wait 20 minutes on the phone). I did speak to a very nice representative (named Asia) who took down all particulars. She said the food I had was in fact part of the recall. I knew this already as I had checked the product code on a variety of websites. She then suggested I be transferred to speak to a veterinarian for care information. Another 10 minute wait. Then the veterinarian answered and told me me the product code number I had was NOT PART OF THE RECALL! My blood pressure (BP) at this time probably jumped to 130/85, high for me. The vet was an older man who sounded like his night time sleep meds hadn't worn off yet - seriously. So I kept on repeating the product code number. BP now 150/95.
He kept telling me the food I had was not part of the recall, and kept questioning the number '1' in the product code for my bag, which I told him had nothing to do with the identified problem foods. I told him it was all about the 9th and 11th digits. He said he had all of the information necessary. I gave him the product code number two more times and he kept saying It was not on the recall. BP 165/100. I told him I could give him the Diamond web address so he could read the information. I told him he could also do a web search on 'pet food recalls' to get the correct information. He wanted to do neither. BP 175/105 because I AM NOW CONCERNED THAT HIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE/INTELLIGENCE could result in an owner's pet getting gravely ill or dying!
I then knew this guy was a lost cause. I called Diamond back, and spoke with another representative who put me through to their supervisor, Briella. I told her this veterinarian should be removed as a contact vet for customers (and their company, duh!) immediately. I reiterated the emergency of this matter and asked her to contact the supervisor of the veterinarian to ensure he is taken off any phone line dealing with this recall problem. She said he had, but I still insisted I wanted to speak to their health team/vet supervisor. I told Briella I wanted a call back within the next 15 minutes. She said he was very busy, but she would try. I told her it wasn't a matter of trying, and that this man could be solely responsible for many dogs becoming ill or dying, which could result in huge costs due to loyal customers switching foods and to serious law suits. BP now off the charts.
When I hung up it was 1:50 p.m. Pacific Time. It is now 2:15 p.m. PT. My 15 minute window is gone and there could be some seriously ill pets out there. I will continue to wait for the call, and if I hear nothing, I will contact Briella again, but since I am on the west coast, the 3 hour time difference may make it impossible to get a hold of them again. I'll call again tomorrow though. I can't believe how nonchalant the company is in dealing with this. The receptionists and one supervisor were nice, but gave me a feeling that they were just collecting data to forward on to the company honchos. THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE THAT I NEED TO KNOW HAS BEEN TAKEN CARE OF, and in the end I want a written apology from the veterinarian.
UNBELIEVABLE! If Kipawa enjoys the Orijen or some other quality non-grain, non corn food, he'll never see another Taste of the Wild kibble again. This company does not deserve my money or time. P.S. BP is still seriously high!
I use Fromms and Orijen…I've used Fromms for a long time now ( oak never did well of TOTW) and they have specific grain free brands and then grain reduced brands...I've been very happy...I just order a bag of Orijen 6 fish to mix in with his "beef a la veg" and "salmon tunalini"...let us know which you go with and how kipawa likes it!! Being from the East coast US, this is very scary an am so glad I didn't go back to TOTW or try Canidae... Dog food is getting so scary
So, here are some updates of my day today. I am totally exhausted, and confused about human beings and their egos.
A vet affiliated with Diamond did call me back today (not the vet I initially spoke with, thank goodness). He apologized for the other vet, but basically it was like many businesses - doctors don't badmouth other doctors, vets don't badmouth other vets. I was just being placated, re-iterating that I was correct and that 'everyone now has the correct information'. I was given a case number and told to keep an eye on Kipawa. And oh, yes, everyone there was so happy Kipawa was fine. So sorry, not impressed. You would have liked me even less, Diamond vets, if anything would have happened to my dog.
So then I needed to go out and get Kipawa food from my usual pet store. When I went into the store with my black garbage bag of loose TOTW, with the remaining in the bag I right away told the owners there was contaminated dog food in the bag, and some of it was loose. I told them it was Taste of the Wild. I was not prepared for what I was to hear. "There isn't a recall on TOTW" I was told. I almost fell to the floor when I realized I was going to have to go through another marathon session of explanations.
The pet store owner handed me a sheet of paper that showed all Diamond and Diamond Naturals brands that were recalled. I told them there were more brands affected and to check the info out on the web. While I went to look for another food for Kipawa the store owner came to me and said (again?) that the food I had was not affected. I have to say that I was working with my last nerve, and that comment just pinched it. Yes, I could have just shut up, but once again I thought of sick dogs, dead dogs, sick people, dead people… and I couldn't NOT say something. I told the store owner that HE WAS WRONG. He had written down a production code number for Taste of The Wild to show me it was not affected. I made him go back to check out everything once more, and then it was finally me who pointed out to him that there were different production code numbers for the TOTW foods based on the size of the bag, but in all instances, the same characters in the production code were the indicators for the contaminated foods.
Then he started looking at the TOTW foods he had in the store and started to say "oh, this one is affected. Oh, so is this one, this one too, etc., etc. It really made me feel sick. How many people would he have sold that food to? I asked him if he had Orijen or some of the other food suggested to me on this forum. Every time I named a food he said things like "oh, I don't like dealing with their distributor", "oh, their shipping costs are too high", "I can't get that brand in when I need it". So what he was telling me was that he based buying for the store based on what was convenient for him. I got a store credit and left. He knows darn well I left with no food from his store. I will buy leashes and collars and stuff (no food items) from him until my credit runs out, then.... bye bye.
So I drove over to another pet store and right off the bat asked them how they were doing with the recall. The guy said "we had to work until really late, but we got all of the different brands off the shelf". DING DING DING. Give the dude a cigar. THAT is what I wanted to hear. So I went back to the food section and did get a bag of Orijen (no grain) red meat variety for Kipawa. He got a tiny bit of that for supper with some of his NRG dehydrated food, in addition to fresh sweet potato, broccoli and blueberries.
As I said, tonight I am so exhausted, but I just could not ignore what happened today. I had to stick it out and see it to the end. I am sure all of you know that feeling. I also had it when I had to advocate for my husband Darrel while he was in rehab. For the life of me I just don't understand why people find it so hard to say something like "sorry, I/we made a mistake". Thank you for pointing it out to me/us. WHAT is happening with the ego of the human race?!?! I know I am ranting here, but is an over-inflated ego more important than a sick/dead human or a sick/dead dog? Please everyone, if you think there is the slightest chance your dog food is contaminated with salmonella, please check out the information available.
I think I'm going to start looking for pet food recalls for Kipawa's food on the internet every few days. But in a few minutes, Kipawa and I are going to go out and check out the huge moon tonight - the biggest one in 2012.
Take care folks - g'night.
Glad you have him on a non-recalled food! Mine loved Origen but it was too rich for them and they had mushy stools, I had to mix with something lee. But lots and lots of dogs do great on Origen alone (or any of the good grain-free foods) Just saying'…don't be upset if he has mushy poops for a few days!
Good for you for sticking to your guns and forcing the first store to empty their shelves (hopefully they did!). Guy should have been happy to get bad product off the shelf but was probably seeing profits going down the drain.
From what my local newspaper said, the contaminant was salmonella and 'no dogs had been sickened but 14 humans had been' so the message was to wash your hands well if handling that food.
We were up at our dog park last night for that big moon doing our "Full Moon Howl" with 3 gallons of sangria and a bunch of friends and their dogs!
I think another important thing you discovered during this ordeal you have gone through, is how important it is to have a good relationship with your pet food store. Sometimes a smaller individually owned store is better to deal with. However, Smaller stores are dependent on buying groups and distribution services which are different from the manufacturer and can be difficult to deal with.
Unfortunately, at least here in the US, because of the condition of the economy, the Big Chain Stores, are squeezing out the independently owned stores. Finding a Big Chain Store with an educated staff is rare. So as owners who care about our pets, we are left with fewer options. One of those options is to use all the resources we have including the internet, research their food, and order it if necessary.
Fran, I'm sorry to hear all you had to go through to get this taken care of. I do want to point out that ego probably has a lot less to do with it than you think. Mostly what you are seeing here is individual employees doing the cya (cover your a&&) dance. Our society has become so sue happy that employees are instructed NEVER to admit fault. Admitting fault is NOT their job, and it is a fire-able offense. Even saying "I'm sorry" can be construed as admitting fault, it is not in the script for these employees. They are to collect the information and let the corporate lawyers handle the rest. That is why you were getting the feeling you did. As far as the vet-consultant you reached, his job is probably only to offer palliative care advice and to instruct you to go to you own vet or an emergency vet if the situation warrants. He is probably not the one who is supposed to making the determination about which foods are recalled and which are not. Once the call went to him, all he should have been dealing with is your dog's current health status. He definitely did not know what he was talking about and needs either serious retraining or to be taken off the job.
I hope Kipawa feels better, and does well on his new food! You certainly have gone the extra mile in the name of better dog care!
I can see why you would be so stressed out about the situation, Fran. And I'm glad you were able to have it turn around for you in the end, and that the stores at least had some idea of why you were so upset (even if they weren't able to listen and process at the time). What a nightmare!
We used to feed Orijen from time to time (it's probably one of the most expensive kibbles we feed, so we needed a cheaper, high quality food like TotW to balance out costs). They changed their formula though, and now it's much higher in protein. We replaced Orijen with Acana instead, which is made by the same company and also very good. That may be something to look into as you explore other options.
I had recently decided to give Pinnacle a try. Unfortunately, it was quickly evident that something wasn't agreeing with the Bows, so I took the whole, opened bag back to the pet food store for a full refund. One of our local chains has a fantastic return policy. If the food doesn't work out, just return it, even if opened. They can donate the opened food to the animal shelter or local dog food pantries as a write-off. I've made use of this policy a few times over the years (definitely not taking advantage of it), and they've never given me any grief. I think it's a policy that other pet stores could learn from.
Ive just put one of my guys on TOTW, and just bought a bag yesterday. Thankfully this bag appears to not be affected, BUT…
I have 4 sample packs, one of which is open and has been fed to the dog... I cant find a Production Code box on any of the sample packs ??? Should I just chuck them out, or does anyone know how I can check to see if these are contaminated ???
ETA Im in Australia, and have heard nothing about this recall, until I came here today...