TUKWILA, WASH. — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to Arrow Reliance Inc. on Feb. 16 regarding two cat food formulas produced at the company’s facility in Tukwila.

The formulas — Darwin’s Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Cats and Darwin’s Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain-Free Turkey Recipe for Cats — were contaminated with Salmonella, according to an FDA lab analysis. The FDA intervened following a consumer complaint, which then instigated a follow-up visit by the FDA in Tukwila. At the follow-up visit, the FDA collected another sample of Darwin’s Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Cats, which also tested positive for Salmonella.

In response to the FDA’s intervention, Arrow Reliance disputed the claim that Salmonella poses a poisonous or deleterious risk for pet food and requested that the FDA present evidence that the substance is harmful in pet food.

The FDA responded to this claim by stating, “The association between human illness or outbreaks of salmonellosis and Salmonella-contaminated pet foods is well established. Association with pet illness has also been shown. Thus, FDA considers a pet food to be adulterated if it is contaminated with Salmonella, regardless of the quantity or Salmonella serotype.”

The agency also pointed out that the company had been made aware of this stance in a previous warning letter issued to Arrow Reliance by the agency on April 2, 2018.

Additionally, Arrow Reliance has been warned for the use of peroxyacetic acid (PAA), deemed an “unapproved/unsafe animal food additive,” in its pet food formulas, according to the FDA. Arrow Reliance uses the additive PAA as a pathogen mitigation method to reduce the risk of E. coli and Salmonella in its raw pet food formulations, according to the FDA.

However, PAA is not listed as a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance in pet food under the FD&C Act. Additionally, the FDA stated it is “not aware of any data demonstrating that PAA is GRAS for any use in animal food,” and therefore considers PAA-inclusive pet food products as adulterated.

Lastly, the FDA noted Arrow Reliance’s Tukwila facility is not currently registered with the FDA, which is required for any food facility under the FD&C Act.

Read more news from pet food manufacturers.