SILVER SPRING, MD. — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its advisory on certain lots of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products’ raw dog and cat food formulas. The agency originally released its advisory in August, cautioning pet parents against feeding their pets certain lots of the pet food formulas due to the presence of Salmonella.

The FDA issued the advisory as the products “pose a significant risk to human and animal health.” According to the administration, it has recommended that Arrow Reliance issue a voluntary recall. However, the company has yet to do so.

The initial advisory was issued after samples of the formulas tested positive for Salmonella. The affected formulas in the original advisory included:

  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken Recipe with Organic Vegetables for Dogs, lot 9774, manufactured on June 13, 2023
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, lot 9795, manufactured on June 28, 2023
  • Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken Recipe for Cats, lot 9830, manufactured on July 19, 2023

On Oct. 12, the agency expanded its advisory to include another product: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Natural Selections Antibiotic & Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Cats, lot 9802, manufactured on July 7, 2023. According to the FDA, it received a consumer complaint, prompting the agency to collect and test a sample from the Antibiotic & Grain-Free Chicken Recipe formula, which confirmed the presence of Salmonella.

Darwin’s formulas are manufactured by Arrow Reliance, Inc. The foods are packaged in white and clear plastic packaging, with the dog recipe including blue labeling and the cat recipes including blue and green labeling. Each packaged formula weighs 2 lbs and the lot codes are located on the front lower left area of the packaging. The products are sold online.

The FDA recommends that pet parents discard the products and clean areas in which the product was stored, as well as any surfaces that came into contact with the formulas.

On Aug. 16, Darwin’s released a statement on the advisory.

“It is important to know that Salmonella is not typically harmful to pets,” the company shared. “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.”

According to the brand, it has not received any complaints from customers who received products from the same lot numbers as those cited by the FDA.

“We believe the FDA’s action is wholly unnecessary, and ultimately, based on flawed regulatory decision-making,” the company stated. “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,” it added. “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.”

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