Darwin’s Natural responds to FDA advisory about Salmonella

Darwin’s Natural responded to an FDA advisory cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of raw dog food.

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Andrea Gantz

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published an advisory cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat and dog food, made by Arrow Reliance Inc. FDA samples from certain lots tested positive for Salmonella. Darwin’s Natural responded to the FDA advisory:

“At Darwin’s, the health and safety of your pets is our absolute top priority, and we take rigorous steps to support their well-being – including remaining committed to communicating with you, our community.  

With that said, we’re reaching out to share some information about a recent incident regarding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

Recently, the FDA issued a public notice regarding some of our products after finding traces of salmonella during routine testing.

It is important to know that salmonella is not typically harmful to pets. Nonetheless, the food samples were flagged under the FDA’s zero-tolerance policy, which is largely designed for human safety and for food that humans will consume, not pets.  

It is also very important to know that we have not received any complaints from customers who have received products from the same lot numbers of the pet food cited in the FDA notice. 

While there are no risks to pet health, we felt it important to notify you regardless. We believe the FDA’s action is wholly unnecessary, and ultimately, based on flawed regulatory decision-making. To prevent a recurrence of this situation, we have taken steps to make this position clear to the agency.  

Darwin’s is confident our meals are safe. We use only high-quality ingredients, sourcing all of our proteins from USDA-inspected facilities.   In addition to a rigid vendor approval program, all of our products are treated in advance of production with an antimicrobial solution to reduce pathogens such as salmonella. Our rigorous sourcing and manufacturing protocols help ensure the safety of our products while maintaining the good bacteria that are crucial to our pets’ gut health and immune systems.  

We’ll be continuing to update on this situation with FAQs and more information regarding the lots tested. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to send us an email to [email protected].”

FDA warns of Salmonella in Darwin’s Natural raw dog food

The FDA recommended that Arrow Reliance Inc. voluntarily recall these products and notify the public.

Affected products:

  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs, Lot 9774, manufactured on Jun 13, 2023.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9795, manufactured on Jun 28, 2023.
  • Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, Lot 9830, manufactured on Jul 19, 2023.

These products are manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and are sold online. The products are in white and clear plastic packages. The dog food has blue labeling, and the cat food has blue and green labeling. Each package weighs two pounds and consists of four separate units. The lot codes are printed on the front of the lower left unit of the package.  

The FDA is issuing this advisory because these lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products cat and dog food pose a significant risk to human and animal health. Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their health care providers. Pet owners should consult a veterinarian if their pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection. Because these products are sold and stored frozen, the FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession and feed them to their pets. 

Previous FDA attention to Arrow Reliance

In 2018, the FDA conducted an inspection of the raw pet food production facility of Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. On April 2, FDA district director Miriam R. Burbach, issued a warning letter addressed to the company’s president, Gary T. Tashjian. FDA inspectors investigated Arrow Reliance’s raw pet food manufacturing plant in Tukwila, Washington from December 6 through 7, 2017, and again on January 25, 2018.

In 2019, the FDA issued an alert to caution pet owners not to feed their animals three lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw dog food. Samples from these lots tested positive for Salmonella.

In 2022, the FDA cautioned pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw cat food. Samples from these lots tested positive for Salmonella. These cat foods were associated with cases of illness in three kittens in a single household. 

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