Voluntary pet food recall over salmonella

A voluntary recall is in effect for certain A voluntary recall is in effect for certain batches of dry pet foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, after several people who handled tainted dog food were sickened by salmonella. Photo Credit: Photos.com

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A voluntary recall is in effect for certain batches of dry pet foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, after several people who handled tainted dog food were sickened by salmonella.

Diamond said it is recalling specific lots of nine brands of pet food formulas manufactured at its Gaston, S.C., plant as a precautionary measure, and Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc., a separate company, also is recalling several formulas that were produced at the same factory. New York State is one of many states where both Diamond and Natural Balance have issued recalls.

A number of these brands are sold on Long Island, but state and local officials say that so far there are no reports of salmonella infection related to the tainted products.

Fourteen people in at least nine states became ill from salmonella, and at least five people were hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No pets were sickened, according to Meta, Mo.-based Diamond.

"People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods," said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.

Three people each were infected in Missouri and North Carolina; two people in Ohio; and one person each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the CDC said.

People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said.

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The South Carolina plant temporarily was shut down April 8. Diamond Pet Foods has issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant, located outside of Columbia, S.C., between Dec. 9 and April 7. The latest recalls were announced Friday.

"We took corrective actions at the plant, and today the plant is up and running. Our mission is to produce safe pet foods for our customers and their pets in all Diamond facilities," the company said in a written statement Friday.

Recalled brands include Diamond Naturals and Taste of the Wild. For more information about the recalled brands, go to diamondpetrecall.com and also naturalbalanceinc.com.

In 2005, a toxic mold called aflatoxin ended up in food made at the same Diamond Pet Foods plant in South Carolina and dozens of dogs died. The company offered a $3.1 million settlement. The Food and Drug Administration determined the deadly fungus likely got into the plant when it failed to test 12 shipments of corn.

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