The FDA has posted the results of its inspection of the Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina.
The inspection was launched on April 12 as a result of an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections in the USA and Canada traced to contaminated pet food manufactured at the facility
The report includes the following observations:
All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.
Specifically, no microbiological analysis is conducted or there is no assurance that incoming animal fat will not introduce pathogens into their production and cause contamination of finished product. Also, the firm’s current sampling procedure for animal digest does (?) preclude potential for adulteration after sampling and during storage in warehouse. On 4/13/12, an employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.
Failure to provide hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities at each location in the plant where needed.
Specifically, there are no facilities for hand washing or hand sanitizing in the production areas where there is direct contact with exposed finished feed/food.
Failure to maintain equipment, containers and utensils used to convey, hold, and store food in a manner that protects against contamination.
Specifically, paddles in conveyor (South or Middle conveyor leading to the screeners going to packaging) were observed to have gouges and cuts, which exhibited feed residues. The damage to the paddles may allow for harborage areas for microorganisms and are difficult to clean and sanitize.
Failure to maintain equipment so as to facilitate cleaning of the equipment.
Specifically, firm utilizes cardboard, duct tape, and other non cleanable surfaces on equipment. These materials were observed to have residues adhering. The foam gaskets around access doors to the bucket elevators were observed in deteriorating condition and exhibited an accumulation of feed residues and dust.
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This is hardly a glowing report yet, according to Diamond’s website, “Here's what goes into every Diamond product":
• Each of our products undergoes a rigorous quality control process prior to shipment, including 141 ingredient tests and 10 final product quality and safety checks.
• Diamond uses only the highest-quality ingredients.
• Every Diamond Pet Foods product is Precision Formulated for content, quality, consistency and uniformity.
• Diamond is audited regularly by a highly respected independent laboratory for food safety, quality and palatability.
• We only sell products that we would be proud to feed to our own pets.
On Monday, Diamond expanded the voluntary recall to include its Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula dry dog food manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 due to potential exposure to Salmonella. They say the product was distributed in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. BUT, further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred. (This refers to foods ordered online)
The company says samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bag sizes are affected.
Production Code & Best Before Date
DSL0801, 20-Oct.-2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 and packaged on Oct. 20, 2011) 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)
Interestingly, the products were manufactured in August but packaged nearly two months later. Makes one wonder how it was stored.
Don't assume your pets are safe because Washington is not specified in the list of states involved. The products could have made it here via online retailers. eFoodAlert has the latest list of recalled products.