Bravo! Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall


April 3, 2013 — Bravo! of Manchester, Connecticut has announced it is voluntarily recalling three of its raw diet frozen foods for dogs and cats because they could potentially be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

Bravo! Dog Food Balance LineAccording to the company…

“…while these products tested negative for pathogens by an independent third party prior to distribution, they were run on the same day or an adjacent day to a product that tested positive for pathogens.

“The product that tested positive has been 100 percent contained and is not subject to this recall.”

What’s Being Recalled?

  • Item #21-405 – 5 lb chub (tube) of Bravo! Chicken Balance frozen raw diet with a “best used by” date of 3-6-15 or 3-12-15 printed on the plastic casing of the package
  • Item #21-102 – 2 lb. chub (tube) of Bravo! Chicken Blend frozen raw diet with a “best used by” date of 3-21-15 printed on the plastic casing of the package
  • Item #51-508 – 5 lb. bag of Bravo! Beef Blend Burgers with a “best used by” date of 3-21-15 or 3-22-15 printed on the back panel of the plastic bag

No other products are affected.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products. There’s also 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 arte rial 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 these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What to Do

For more information, consumers should visit the Bravo website or call 866-922-9222 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

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  • aimee

    You are welcome

  • charlie

    Thank you aimee

  • aimee

    Hi charlie,

    I didn’t read the full text so I don’t know the timing of measurements etc. So I can’t venture to say why a difference was found or even if the difference met significance. Maybe buffering effects of the food??

    I don’t know of any comparisons between gastric pH of raw meal vs kibble meal.

    Many hold beliefs, which are presented as “facts” though there is no data to support those beliefs. Are they wrong?? The best we can say is we don’t know.

    I did skim a publication regarding microbiota in the canine intestine and the most diverse flora was found when the dogs were on commecial dry compared to the test diets of high animal based protein or a high carb diet.

  • aimee

    The gastric pH when fasted was 2.05. The gastric pH after feeding 10 grams of dry food was 1.08 and 1.26 after feeding 200 grams of dry food.

    I understood your post as saying that a kibble fed dog would be more susceptible to Salmonella than a raw fed dog because kibble fed dogs “do not have a stomach pH of 1 so they are at far greater risk of getting salmonella than a raw fed dog”

    I was pointing out that dogs eating dry food have pH levels near 1.

    I agree colonization is not the same as infection.

    The morbidity/mortality cases I referred to were dogs on a steady raw diet.

    Other parameters being equivalent I don’t think there would be a difference in infection rates between commercial dry fed and raw fed dogs when challenged with the same infective dose/strain.

  • charlie

    Thanks anyway

  • Pattyvaughn

    Nope, sure can’t. In case you haven’t noticed, no one is funding raw fed studies. You are welcome to look for what supports a healthy gut population of probiotics and extrapolate for yourself.
    And exposure is one aspect of what builds the immune system, but once again no one is funding raw studies.
    Sorry I’m no help at all.

  • charlie

    Thank you Patty!

    “Let’s see. How about because they have a healthier gut with a more diverse population of probiotics”

    Can you please provide a link to the data you used to make this statement?

    “or because they have been exposed so often to small doses they have active antibodies”

    Can you please post a link to the data that shows that raw fed dogs have more antibodies to salmonella than kibble fed dogs and that raw fed dogs do not get sick as much as kibble fed from Salmonella?

    Thank you

  • Pattyvaughn

    Let’s see. How about because they have a healthier gut with a more diverse population of probiotics, or because they have been exposed so often to small doses they have active antibodies, and then there is that stomach pH while ingesting the salmonella might help too.
    Of course, kibble fed dogs can certainly have a diverse population of gut microflora. It would just be less common due to current suggested practices i.e. pick a food and feed it for life. Most kibble fed dogs eat the same food day in and day out for years and do not have a healthy gut so when they are challenged, they have problems.

  • charlie

    You said:

    “the point of my post was that raw fed dogs can handle being exposed to salmonella because they are used to it, but kibble fed dogs aren’t necessarily.”

    What is the mechanism by which raw fed dogs are able to “handle” being exposed to salmonella and kibble fed dogs may not be?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would suspect that gastric pH while eating would have more to do with handling salmonella than gastric pH while fasting, but I can honestly say I don’t care since the point of my postwas that raw fed dogs can handle being exposed to salmonella because they are used to it, but kibble fed dogs aren’t necessarily. I know you are a data girl, and I respect that, but I’m a real life experience girl. At the vet where I worked we didn’t have raw fed dogs dying from salmonella, we had dogs on salmonella tainted kibble die from dehydration, which we assumed was salmonella related, but many owners don’t want to spend the money to test their dead dog’s feces. And so the dog food companies get to keep on claiming that no dogs died.
    BTW, I don’t consider a healthy dog shedding salmonella to be an infection, just like I know I have yeast in my gut, but I don’t have a yeast infection. However, an unhealthy dog can have a lot less salmonella in it’s system and I would consider it infected, because it’s body doesn’t know how to handle it.
    I also don’t consider a dog that got a hold of something raw and tainted to be a raw fed dog if it hasn’t been eating raw for a while.

  • charlie

    Hi aimee

    Interesting! The dogs fed 10g had a more acidic gastric pH than the dogs fed 200g. Any thoughts on why?

    Do you know of any studies that compare the gastric pH of dogs fed kibble vs lightly or fully cooked homemade vs raw?

  • aimee

    Hi Pattyvaughn,

    What leads you say kibble fed dogs do not have a pH of 1? Gastric pH does vary. Sagawa (2009) measured pH after meal of dry dog food and found “The average gastric pH in fasted dogs was 2.05 and 1.08 and 1.26 for 10 and 200 g fed dogs.”

    I do not see that there is any protective effect of a raw diet over a kibble diet in regards to Salmonella. Salmonella is easily recovered from the feces of dogs eating a raw diet showing that it survives the gastric pH of a raw fed dog just fine.

    In most morbidity/mortality cases of Salmonella in the literature, the dogs were raw fed dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Most dogs eat kibble and do not have a stomach pH of 1 so they are at far greater risk of getting salmonella than a raw fed dog whose system is used to handling salmonella on a daily basis. Somehow I doubt that the kibble companies are ever going to pay for a study to find out how much easier it is for a kibble fed dog to get salmonella than a raw fed dog. Too bad, it would be interesting reading.

  • Shiloh64

    Some Salmonella lives in the Gi tract of dogs/cats already.Healthy dogs have a ph 1 stomach acid designed to handle heavy bacterial loads.Animals with compromised immune systems do to old age and diseases or drugs antibiotics can develope and show symptoms of Salmonella.But normally healthy dogs and cats can handle Salmonella with no problems.Humans get exposed to the Salmonella by handling the dog food without proper following normal hygienic hand washing and disinfectanting procedure.I feed a species appropriate raw food diet and I am more diligent about cleaning and washing when handling raw meat than handling dry dogfood.Its no different than when I prepare raw meat to cook for human consumption.I use the same disinfectanting practices.I am way more careful because it is raw meat.I use to think nothing of reaching into a bag of dry dogfood with my bare hands and grabbing a handfull of dogfood without immediately washing my hands, now I know better.Even though I no longer feed commercial made dog/catfood.

  • Kamil

    Yet another reason why I have chosen to feed my dogs a raw diet. My local butcher provides me with all the meat, egg and bone products my dogs will ever need.

  • kristen

    Grocery store meat has the same risk of contamination as meat purchased by bravo, and there have been plenty of recalls on human grade products. Im sure everyone remembers the recalls on contaminated spinach, melons and peanut butter. If anyone bothered to read the article it states that the recalled product wasnt actually contaminated it was produced on the same day as a product that was, and that batch never made it out to the public. To saythat feeding a prepared raw diet is just as bad as feeding grocery store kibble is just rude and uppity. Ive got a grade schooler and a toddler and even if i had time to grind organ meats and measure suppliments for our 50 pound dog id propably still buy bravo. Shes healthy and happy and i dont feel like less of a dog owner because im dont feed raw meaty bones on the same kitchen floor my daughter drags her blanket over. Bravo is a great product and im sticking with it.

  • Peggy Lange

    It is what it is,,,,,raw meat. Have fed for 20 years,,,,never a sick dog or cat from pre-made raw diets. You do a wonderful job Brovo.

  • that was my question to

  • Kathy Mills

    This is a typical reason why raw enthusiasts should learn to simply go to a store and buy their on fresh meats and not subscribe to “commercialized raw food”…. in doing so , they are doing NO different than buying kibble, they still have no control over what goes into their dogs, and will always be the mercy of manufacturer problems.

  • Greymom P

    Wondering if these companies get some of their raw products from the same supplier?

  • Kate C.

    It’s raw meat. I’m not surprised and not that concerned that they had a product that contained salmonella. I make most of my dogs’ raw food and I’m sure it’s not 100% free of salmonella, but I make give them probiotics to help them handle it, and wash my hands and the counters afterward. That said, I truly appreciate their thorough precautions that prevented the contaminated product from going to market at all and to recall the product that just MIGHT be contaminated.

  • Guardian

    Bravo to Bravo for issuing a recall BEFORE any of our best friends get sick!

    I appreciate a company willing to go to this expense without being forced to, because this product was near something that tested positive.

    THANK YOU for caring!

  • beerhunter

    WHY ??? WHY??? dont they test pet treats and food prior to selling it to the public and why? are they not cleaning properly? I just got a new pup and he will not get any store bought food or treats at all!!

  • are these recalled raw meats produced at the same plant?

  • Jerry

    Hmmm…. Yet another salmonella recall