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  5. FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Frozen Raw Pet Food Due to Salmonella
  1. Outbreaks and Advisories

FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Frozen Raw Pet Food Due to Salmonella

February 14, 2020

On this page: 

Fast Facts
What is the problem?
What products are involved?
What do consumers need to do?
What do retailers need to do?
What is Salmonella and what are the symptoms of Salmonella infection (salmonellosis)?
Why is the FDA concerned about Salmonella in pet food and treats?
What should I do if I think I have salmonellosis?
What should I do if I think my pet has salmonellosis?
How can I report a human or animal illness related to pet food?
Additional information

Fast Facts

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets one lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food after a sample collected from a store in the District of Columbia tested positive for Salmonella.
  • The product is Aunt Jeni’s Home Made All-Natural Raw Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb. (2.3 kg), lot 175331 NOV2020.
  • If you have any of the affected Aunt Jeni’s Home Made product, stop feeding it to your pet, throw it away, and sanitize surfaces that may have come in contact with the product.
  • FDA is issuing this alert because this lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food represents a serious threat to human and animal health. Because the product is sold and stored frozen, FDA is concerned that people may still have it in their possession.
  • Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. People with symptoms of Salmonella infection should consult their health care providers. Consult a veterinarian if your pet has symptoms of Salmonella infection.

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What is the problem?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets the Aunt Jeni’s Home Made raw frozen pet food listed below because a sample tested positive for Salmonella Infantis. The Salmonella was found to be resistant to multiple antibiotic drugs.

In January 2020, the FDA collected one retail sample of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb. (2.3 kg), lot 175331, NOV2020, which tested positive for Salmonella Infantis. 

The FDA is advising the public about this product because this lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food represents a serious threat to human and animal health.

In August 2019, FDA issued a public health advisory after one lot each of two varieties of Aunt Jeni’s frozen raw pet food tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes.

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What products are involved?

One pet food product tested positive: 

  • Aunt Jeni’s Home Made, All-Natural Raw Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb. (2.3kg), lot 175331 NOV2020

Aunt Jeni’s Home Made raw 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 the Turkey Dinner product and cannot determine the lot code, FDA recommends that you exercise caution and throw the product away.

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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 product for sale should wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where the product was stored.

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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.

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Why is the FDA concerned about Salmonella in pet food and treats?

Pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella are of particular public health importance because Salmonella can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from this pathogen 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 on their hands, they can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces. 

The FDA has investigated cases in which human and/or animal illness was associated with 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). Once Salmonella gets 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. Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria. 

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What should I do if I think I have salmonellosis?

If you think you have symptoms of Salmonella infection, consult your health care provider. 

What should I do if I think my pet has salmonellosis?

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.

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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.

The information in this release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and any state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available. 

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Additional Information

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