- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food after samples from some of these lots tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).
- Two samples of finished product collected during an inspection of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made tested positive for Salmonella, and/or L. mono. The products are: Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020, and Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020.
- If you have any of the affected Aunt Jeni’s Home Made products, throw them away.
- FDA is issuing this alert because these lots of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food represent a serious threat to human and animal health. Because these products are sold and stored frozen, FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession.
- Salmonella and L. mono can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection should consult their health care providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection.
What is the problem?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets any of the Aunt Jeni’s Home Made raw frozen pet food listed below because samples have tested positive for Salmonella and/or L. mono.
The FDA collected two samples of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made pet food (turkey and chicken varieties) during a routine inspection of the manufacturing facility. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020, tested positive for Salmonella Infantis and L. mono.
Based on the test results, the Maryland Department of Agriculture issued a stop sale for these products on August 20, 2019, preventing their further distribution. The FDA is advising the public about these products because these lots of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food represent a serious threat to human and animal health.
What products are involved?
Two finished pet food products tested positive:
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 175199 JUL2020
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, Chicken Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb (2.3kg), lot 1152013 JUL2020
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made pet food products are sold frozen online and through retail locations. Lot codes to help identify product are printed on the lower right corner of the front of the bag.
If you have either of the product varieties listed and cannot determine the lot code, FDA recommends that you exercise caution and throw the product away.
What do consumers need to do?
If you have any of the affected product, stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with. Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the affected product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
What do retailers need to do?
Retailers, distributors and other operators who have offered the affected products for sale should wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where the products were stored.
What is Salmonella and what are the symptoms of Salmonella infection (salmonellosis)?
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. According to CDC, people infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In some patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.
What is Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) and what are the symptoms of L. mono infection (listeriosis)?
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are pregnant, very young, very old, or have weak immune systems. According to CDC, listeriosis in humans can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected. Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis. Anyone with symptoms of listeriosis should contact a health care provider.
L. mono infections are uncommon in pets, but they are possible. Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea; anorexia; fever; nervous, muscular and respiratory signs; abortion; depression; shock; and death.
Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass L. mono on to their human companions. As with Salmonella, infected pets can shed L. mono in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.
Why is the FDA concerned about Salmonella and L. mono in pet food and treats?
Pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella and L. mono are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from these pathogens and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing to be ill. People can get sick from handling contaminated pet foods and treats or touching surfaces that have had contact with the contaminated pet foods and treats. Additionally, if a person gets Salmonella or L. mono on their hands, they can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.
The FDA has recently investigated cases in which humans and/or animals have gotten sick from exposure to Salmonella-contaminated pet foods (see Salmonella-human cases linked to pet food, Salmonella-human cases linked to pig ear pet treats, Salmonella-kitten, Salmonella-kitten and dog). Although FDA is not aware of a documented case of a person acquiring L. mono infection from a pet food, once Salmonella or L. mono get established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination may continue to spread.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that all animal food, like human food, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. Without an effective control for pathogens, such as cooking, animal food is more likely to contain pathogens such as Salmonella and L. mono. Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria.
What should I do if I think I have salmonellosis or listeriosis?
If you think you have symptoms of Salmonella or L. mono infection, consult your health care provider.
What should I do if I think my pet has salmonellosis or listeriosis?
People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
How can I report a human or animal illness related to pet food?
FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal. This information helps FDA further protect human and animal health.