An FDA warning is often the “kiss of death” for any food company. In the case of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products it was going to be the “lick of death” except the company has disputed the FDA’s findings in the court of public opinion.
The mail-order raw pet food company disputed an FDA warning regarding pathogens in its raw pet food. The FDA tested three lots of Darwin’s poultry meals, produced in October and November of last year, and claimed to find the presence of Salmonella in them. Darwin’s stated that the warning was inappropriate, as there is no inherent public health risk, and that customers were already aware of the situation as a result of the company’s own communications. Further, according to Darwin’s, the FDA informed the company that it was issuing the warning because Darwin’s refused to turn over customers’ personal contact information which the FDA demanded to receive.
“We dispute both the recent FDA warning and as well as its policy,” said Gary Tashjian, Darwin’s Natural Pet Products president. “The public warning is inappropriate because we’ve already notified our customers directly via e-mail about this situation on two occasions. More importantly, our customers have told us that this food was consumed by their pets long ago, with no medical issues reported. The facts show that there is no safety risk here.”
Adding further complication, the company’s press release said that “salmonella is inherent in raw poultry products and is unlikely to pose danger to most pets, or to humans when properly handled. Because of this, the USDA, which regulates meat and poultry for human consumption, allows for some presence of Salmonella in raw poultry.”
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