A product sample of Natural Balance’s Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food tested positive for Salmonella in an isolated test carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In response to this result, the company has voluntarily recalled 5-pound and 28-pound bags with a "Best By" date of June 17th, 2011 as a precaution. Affected lots were originally manufactured on Dec. 17th 2009 and were distributed only in pet specialty stores in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
"Upon hearing from the FDA, I immediately went to our Director of Customer Service, a licensed Registered Veterinary Technician, to check call logs for any complaints with this product. Our Customer Service department closely tracks and monitors complaints for any potential issues; and I heard no reports in our weekly meetings, so I was not surprised when I found we did not have a single complaint about this product," said Natural Balance’s President, Joey Herrick. "Next, I immediately pulled the retention samples for this product to be sent to an independent third party laboratory. The samples were sent to Zoologix, a laboratory that does real-time PCR testing, the most sensitive type of testing for Salmonella. Those test results also came back negative. I reported our test results and call logs to the FDA, but due to the positive result they had found, they recommended a recall."
Herrick has also been quick to point out how Natural Balance’s in-house safety checks are unique: "I believe that we are the only pet food company that has built an in-house lab as an added check and gives you the test results in real time on our website. We hold the finished product in our warehouses for two to three days, until that testing is completed. We only release product to be shipped when the testing is negative," he continued.
Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs. Dogs with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals of humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms you should contact your veterinarian.