New Diamond Pet Food Recall: 2nd Plant – What’s Missing?

by Mary Haight on May 20, 2012


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The Diamond pet food recall list for 2012 got a little longer with another food and a 2nd plant claiming headlines. Diamond pet food announced late Friday night another recall voluntary recall. Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bag sizes, manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 are being recalled due to “possible” contamination with Salmonella, this time from a Missouri plant. The ubiquitous “no illnesses have been reported” phrase once again makes it into the press release. What’s missing here? One more case of confirmed Salmonella Infantis has been reported from Canada, bringing the total people affected to 15. How is that “no illnesses have been reported” (press release below)? And that’s not the only point in question that Diamond should answer.

It must also have occurred to the Diamond representative who wrote the press release that, to the general public, it appears the time it took from production date to packaging was not safe. One and two months delay in packaging finished product sounds dangerous. The average person knows little of what happens at a pet food processing plant, or what best practices demand. The presumption is that food is produced then packaged as soon as it is cooled, not a month or two later. It stands to reason Diamond would have commented on that, especially given the 22 state pet food recall of 2005 due to mold (aflatoxin) mentioned in a previous report.

Another point of confusion – you’ll notice the production and packaging dates are from August 2011, last year. The timeline to first discovery of contamination needs to be addressed. Given the quality control measures Diamond cites, 151 quality checks including random testing by an outside agency, why was the problem only discovered when the Michigan Department of Agriculture found Salmonella Infantis during a routine retail check April 2?

This same thing occurred with the recall of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Light Formula when Ohio public health and Department of Agriculture officials tested an opened bag from a sick person’s home and an unopened bag from a retail store, finding Salmonella Infantis in both. “No illnesses reported.” Really? Or did they say “no dog illnesses reported” on that press release?

A sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food was taken by the FDA which also proved to have the bacteria. How could this contamination be missed over so many months with so many checks in place? It might have to do with the state of the equipment, and quality controls not being followed.

A report of observations made during an FDA inspection of the Gaston SC plant (hat tip to Phyllis Entis, food safety microbiologist, eFoodAlert) is damning. “All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.” Each observation is followed by specifics, in this case that no microbiological analysis is done to ensure that incoming animal fat will not introduce pathogens and contaminate the finished product, and further that the company fails to maintain equipment, containers, utensils used to hold and store food in a way that prevents contamination. The real kicker here is that the equipment is not well-maintained; proper cleaning can’t be done. What is meant by “not maintained”? Diamond uses cardboard, duct tape and other non-cleanable surfaces on equipment. Food residue was visible on those surfaces.

I would like some answers, how about you? Oh, and one more thing before I go – those “shipped to” States listed as having Diamond Pet Food recalled? Don’t bank on that being accurate. Diamond references “other channels” of sales beyond regular distribution and that includes the internet. All these foods, if available on the internet, can be found anywhere, and at least one of the individual brands sells to many countries in Europe.


Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Food Added to Recall

May 18, 2012

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bag sizes, manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011, have been added to the limited voluntary recall, due to potential exposure to Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported.

The product was distributed in the following states, further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Production Code & Best Before Dates:

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 27-Sept- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 and packaged on Sept. 27, 2011)

DSL0801, 18-Oct- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 and packaged on Oct. 18, 2011)

DSL0801, (Samples)

Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 am – 6pm EST.

Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any issues this may have caused pet owners and their pets.

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