August 14, 2019 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners not to feed certain lots of Texas Tripe raw pet food after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes.
The FDA is issuing this alert because these lots of Texas Tripe Inc. raw pet food represent a serious threat to human and animal health.
Because these products are sold and stored frozen, FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession.
What’s Being Recalled?
The recalled products are sold frozen in 20-pound and 40-pound cases.
Each case contains multiple plastic pouches.
Lot codes to help identify recalled product are printed on the outside of the cases. But the lot codes are not printed on the individual sealed plastic pouches, also known as chubs.
So, if the case has been discarded, there are no unique identification numbers on the individual chubs that allow customers to determine that they possess the recalled products.
These products are manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc. and were sold direct to consumers online and by phone.
The chart below lists the recalled products and lot numbers provided by the firm to FDA on 8/6/2019. These include 35 lots for each of the following 23 product varieties.
The FDA-sampled products below tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes (as of 8/13/19) but have not been recalled.
- Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
- Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
- Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05
Where Were the Products Sold?
According to the company, recalled products have been sold directly to consumers in the following states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
What Caused the Recall?
The Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) collected 23 finished product samples at Texas Tripe Inc. Of the 23 samples, 16 tested positive for Listeria and/or Salmonella.
The FDA followed up these findings with an inspection and collected and analyzed samples of unopened finished product, after the firm performed corrective actions, from additional lots of some of the same products tested by OTSC.
FDA testing showed some of the samples contained Salmonella and/or L. mono.
FDA and OSTC shared their test results with Texas Tripe Inc. The firm initiated a recall on July 3, 2019 by directly notifying some of its customers via email.
Why FDA Is Concerned
Pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella and L. mono are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health.
Pets can get sick from these pathogens and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing to be ill.
People can get sick from handling contaminated pet foods and treats or touching surfaces that have had contact with the contaminated pet foods and treats.
Additionally, if a person gets Salmonella or L. mono on their hands, they can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.
The FDA is aware of recent cases in which humans and/or animals have gotten sick from exposure to Salmonella-contaminated pet foods (Salmonella-human cases, Salmonella-kitten, Salmonella-kitten and dog).
Although FDA is not aware of a documented case of a person acquiring L. mono infection from a pet food, once Salmonella or L. mono get established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination may continue to spread.
Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that all animal food, like human food, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.
Without an effective control for pathogens, such as cooking, animal food is more likely to contain pathogens such as Salmonella and L. mono.
Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems.
According to the CDC, people infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.
In some patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level.
If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.
Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are pregnant, very young, very old, or have weak immune systems.
According to CDC, listeriosis in humans can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.
Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches.
However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis.
Anyone with symptoms of listeriosis should contact a health care provider.
L. mono infections are uncommon in pets, but they are possible.
Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, nervousness, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion, depression, shock and death.
Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass L. mono on to their human companions.
Once L. mono gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement…
And the contamination may continue to spread, further contaminating the household environment.
What to Do?
If you have any recalled product, stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.
Clean up the pet’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.
Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the recalled product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
If you believe you have symptoms of Salmonella and L. mono, consult your health care provider.
People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians.
Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN Network) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Or go to https://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.
Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.