The federal government initiated a program to randomly sample pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets for Salmonella.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine issued a memorandum instructing its 19 regional districts to collect samples of pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers or retailers. The testing does not include canned pet food.
The agency said it started the program in October because Salmonella-contaminated pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets pose a significant health risk to humans.
Its goal is to ensure that Salmonella-contaminated pet feeds are removed from interstate commerce.
Each district was instructed to collect 14 samples between October and September. The FDA encouraged districts to collect samples over the entire fiscal year, or in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year if year-round collection is not feasible.
The FDA said samples should consist of the following:
* Six samples from non-canned pet foods. Examples include, but are not limited to, non-canned foods for puppies, dogs, kittens, cats, rabbits, reptiles (turtles, snakes, lizards and iguanas), rodents (gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and mice), birds, aquarium fish, and raw meat and poultry formulations for pets;
* Five samples from pet treats. Examples include, but are not limited to, rawhide bones, pig ears, dog biscuits, salmon treats and shrimp snacks; and,
* Three samples from vitamins, minerals and other supplements for pets in the form of pills, boluses, solutions or powders.
The FDA also instructed the districts to collect “investigational” samples for research purposes and for providing surveillance information on microbes other than Salmonella in pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets.
The CVM intends to support advisory and/or regulatory action against Salmonella-contaminated pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets, and their manufacturers, for which interstate commerce can be documented.