JoAnna Lou
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Diamond Pet Foods Recall Fiasco
Tainted kibble affects both people and pets

In early April, Diamond Pet Foods initiated a recall in response to 14 cases of human salmonella poisoning linked to handling their kibble. At first only a few brands were included, but the list has been steadily growing in the last month. Now the recall has spread to other companies who manufacture products in the same plant, like WellPet.

I feed my pups Taste of the Wild, which was only recently added to the recall. It’s frustrating because Diamond Pet Foods initially claimed the food was safe, but then later included it in the recall.

Diamond Pet Foods and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are only reporting the 14-person salmonella outbreak, but stories of sick pets have been emerging online.

One woman in California reported that her dog is suffering from acute liver failure that she believes is related to the Taste of the Wild recall. So far she has spent over $3,000 on veterinary care and she’s not alone. Others are in a similar predicament and are having a hard time getting information from Taste of the Wild.

Sadly recalls seem to be a regular occurrence these days. Feeding a good kibble is no longer about just finding a food with quality ingredients. Now you have to be worried about the track record of a company and the manufacturing plants that they use.  I’m starting to think that making my own pet food is the only way that I can be truly confident in the meals I put in my dogs’ bowls. In talking to my friends, I know I’m not the only one contemplating a switch to fresh foods or homemade diets.

Are you planning on changing your dog’s food as a result of the recall? 

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by carterse/flickr.

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Submitted by Anonymous | May 7 2012 |

Yes, I was feeding Canidae which has been voluntarily recalled as it is made at the Diamond plant. I just bought Fromms, a family run company that has their own manufacturing plant and tests the batches daily..or so they say.

Submitted by mary | May 11 2012 |

I have been feeding my dogs Fromm for many years. I first found the brand when I lived in Wisconsin in the '80's and '90's as it was a local family-owned and operated business. Had my horde on Wellness and Canidae, but didn't like how it seemed to foul up their GI system. So, I returned to Fromm 5 years ago and haven't looked back. I also incorporate fresh-cooked foods (veggies, fruits and meats) with their kibble as I am thinking of phasing out the dry altogether.

Yes, all foods that are processed have recall incidents, it's the nature of the beast, but I've found that for Fromm it is very, very rare. That fact alone helps me sleep at night. My furkids enjoy the food very much and it does not in any way add any GI problems.

Submitted by Pat Panek | May 7 2012 |

I am one who HATES to cook. Any kind of food preparation makes me grumble, but I can no longer have faith in where my pets' food is being manufactured, where the ingredients are coming from, and whether or not that bag of expensive dog/cat food is safe for my animals. I am investigating recipes for healthy, well balanced, and natural ingredients.

This is ridiculous and I am angry with these companies for not being more careful about with whom they do business. I understand the bottom line for them is profit margin. The bottom line for me is the health and longevity of my animals.


Submitted by Anonymous | May 7 2012 |

You have to keep in mind there are human food recalls all the time too. Unless you raise and grow your own food, there will always be risk of recalls. Wellpet and Candidae have both built their own plants and no longer use Diamond which has ALWAYS had a history of recalls.

Submitted by Anonymous | October 25 2012 |

Where did you get your information about Canidar building their own manufacturing plant? They used another co-packer until Diamond Pet Foods did a full scale shut down and clean up, and have now returned to diamond to have their food processed. Also, before "damning" diamond for having a recall, you should know that Mars, Purina, and most any other major brand have had recalls for similar problems. Any time raw ingredients are involved, especially when they are fresh, you run the risk of micro-biological organisms and virus'. People should really stop being mindless drones to the tv and actually do some research.

Submitted by Marzocco's mum | May 7 2012 |

I got frustrated chasing the recalls and like you finding out that what you thought was reputable food such as TOTW is made at the plant that has a history of recalls! Plus finding out other brands that I have used in the past, such as Wellness, to be made by Diamond as well. TOTW has also admitted that they source supplements to the food from China :( As of last Friday I switched my dog to raw food, and she has not had any GI upset, which tells me that when you switch to real food you dont have the do the usual 5 day slow change as in with kibble.

Submitted by Leslie | May 7 2012 |

I too fed my dogs Taste of the Wild...for years. Now I've switched to Acana. It was an easy switch for them. No stomache problems etc. Still have 1/2 a bag of Taste of the wild that's going in the garbage. Truth be told though, I'm suspicious of all dog food now. So feeding your pet beneful is like eating McDonalds every day but spending a pretty penny on 'high quality' dog food could kill them. Nice......

Submitted by Anonymous | May 8 2012 |

You might want to check Acana as well. I am pretty sure I saw a link on my FB that included Acana to the recall. We have to REALLY STAY ON TOP of this recall because Diamond is being SUPER SLOW in letting all of the brands out in the recall... Furthermore. The processing plant in question is a plant that makes certain ingredients for Diamond as far as I can understand. Therefore, other brands may be buying these ingredients from this plant as well.

Submitted by Mindy | May 7 2012 |

I started making homemade food for one of my two dogs, because our vet said that some of her health issues might be dietary in nature. Now I am seriously considering cooking for both dogs. I have been feeding my dogs Taste of the Wild because I was impressed with their supposed quality, but I have lost faith in the pet food industry.

Submitted by Anonymous | May 7 2012 |

we have been feeding Archie Diamond Natural for about 2 years now, this is quite an issue for us, as all has been taken off the shelves, we had to change brands totally. Diamond food is affiliated with so many products too!

Submitted by thesmithgirl | May 7 2012 |

I've been feeding homemade food for several years and my dogs are doing great. However due to the rising costs of meat I'd been thinking about switching back to a good kibble. This whole recall has made up my mind that I am NEVER going back. Human-grade homemade food all the way.

Submitted by Natalya | May 7 2012 |

"I’m starting to think that making my own pet food is the only way that I can be truly confident in the meals I put in my dogs’ bowls." Home-prepared, fresh-food diets are a way to be much more confident about MANY aspects of your pet's health, avoiding contamination through processing being just one.

I started feeding RAW 6 years ago and haven't looked back - I avoid being unnerved by recalls, but most importantly, my dog's health is brilliant, he adores his food (especially meatloaf b-day cake! http://www.oscaratemymuffin.com/ ), and I get immense joy and satisfaction out of sourcing and hand-preparing each monthly batch of meals.

As with anything - do your research! - but it's so very worth the switch!!

Submitted by Christopher | May 7 2012 |

I am happy to say that our family no longer has to worry about problems like these since we switched our poodle to a raw diet. I have talked to many families and have read about hundreds more that have suffered through previous kibble company recalls. It seems to be a general notion that raw food is unsafe because it is raw but there are far more recalls with kibble and canned products. I'm not sure about you but I would never eat a food that is intended to sit in a warehouse, unrefrigerated for months first - and I will never again feed my dog this way.

A good raw food company to trust is BARF World - They have never had a recall (knocking on wood as I type). www.barfworld.com

Submitted by Daily Deals 4 Pets | May 7 2012 |

I am in California and my dogs became sick about 4 days ago after I opened a new bag of Kirkland food. Their symptoms include diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting, and fever. I was led to this recall after doing research online regarding their current condition. I did call the pet food recall hotline and I was told that they are receiving calls from all over California and they are shocked that the state has yet to be added to the list! I have fully switched to homemade dog food and a vitamin supplement.

Submitted by Anonymous | May 8 2012 |

Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods are the only way to go! Been feeding raw for over 12 years & will never again feed commercially prepared food.

Submitted by Jim | May 12 2012 |

Sadly we lost our Austrailian Shepherd last month after eating the Costco Kirkland brand. We just now learned the cause based on the most recent recall announcement.

Submitted by Anonymous | May 13 2012 |

I have a litter of puppies that are sick from eating Diamond Puppy Food for Nursing mothers and puppies My dogs have been sick for 4 Days now ! They been vomiting Diareeah And the symtoms are similar to Parvo diease .I took my Baby's to the Vet and were diagnosed with Salmolnera I live in "California" The food is contiminated here too! And it hasn't been on the recall list for California State ! The Diamond food was sent to the Lab for testing and came out positive for Salmonera!!! Now i have to pay ovef $3,000 on Vet Bills !I purchased This food from PetFun In Salinas California! so people be aware!!!

Submitted by Anonymous | July 30 2012 |

How are the puppies. I have been caring for a friend's puppy that I just found out it this puppy's mother got sick from eating contaminated dog food and it affected all her puppies. We didn't know what was wrong with him, mostly diarrhea contain some blood or black stool (indication of blood) and symptoms similar to Parvo. It has been over a month and I have to say every two weeks. I was wondering what did you do to cure the puppies?
Thank you for any of your assistance.
warmest regards
June Tompack

Submitted by Sandi | May 14 2012 |

Thankfully, we have been feeding our dogs EVO Ancestral Diet kibble for several years now. This food has not been affected by the recall. They seem to thrive on it, so I am not planning to change.

Submitted by misschris | June 1 2012 |

There are several high quality commercial foods available, which engage in superior manufacturing practices - unlike Diamond. The key in choosing a pet food, after you review the ingredient panel, is to ask 'Is it co-packed'? There are co-packing (manufacturing) companies that do nothing but source ingredients and make the food for many brands, all out of one massive plant. This is the model that Diamond falls under. There are 2 reasons why this is not a good situation for your pets - the quality of ingredients is in the hands of the middle man/co-packer, and if something goes wrong with ingredients or process (tainted/unclean machinery), every product produced at that plant is affected (we're lucky there's only 14 brands on this recall). A co-packer doesn't put their name on the bag. A good pet food manufacturer will produce their own product - this is more expensive because they need their own plant, but its the only way to control ingredient quality and ensure proper manufacturing process is met. It can't be left to someone else.

Don't give up on finding a quality commercial food - just dig a bit deeper. Say no to co-packing.

I'm happy to receive email if anyone has any questions. I'm in the pet food industry but kept my product out of this - my objective here is to share info only. cwalsh825@gmail.com

Submitted by Homemade | June 7 2012 |

I feed my dog and cats a raw, homemade diet and they are more bright-eyed, energetic, and in-shape than they ever were on kibble. And since I used to work in pet retail, I have tried them on just about every premium brand available in the US. When I heard about the recall, and some of the high quality brands on the list, I was very glad that it wasn't even something I had to consider because my animals eat only human-grade whole meats, organs, and of course bones. People visiting my home regularly remark that though there are 4 cats in residence, there is no cat smell at all. None are overweight, and the dog has been raised on raw food and thrived.

Submitted by Paula Frost | May 8 2013 |

FEED RAW, FEED RAW...I can't stress enough that everyone needs to get off the kibble craze. It's so unnatural and unhealthy for dogs and cats. Sure it's very convenient, but a lot of pet owners are not equating all of the sickness and disease that is caused from a lifetime of kibble crap! Cooked is not good either, especially cooked bones. Raw is easy and you know what your pets are getting...or more importantly what they are not getting. The multi billion dollar commercial pet food industry is driven by profit. Their concern for pet health is only out a fear of retaining customers. You can guarantee they are trying to make a seemingly high quality pet food for as cheaply as possible and it is not natural anyway. Please go to www.rawfed.com and read all of the information. It's a real eye opener!

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