Animal Rights Group Claims Credit for Bravo Packing Pet Food Recall

Possible Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes Health Risk to Humans and Animals
By Phyllis Entis, March 2021
Ground Beef Raw Pet Food

Animal Outlook, an animal rights advocacy organization, claims to have been the catalyst for the recall of Ground Beef and Performance Dog raw pet foods announced on March 3, 2021 by Bravo Packing, Inc., Carney’s Point, New Jersey.

Animal Outlook is a national non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The name of the organization was changed from “Compassion over Killing” to “Animal Outlook” in 2020.

The pet food recall, which encompassed all Ground Beef and Performance Dog frozen raw pet foods (sold in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic sleeves), was initiated after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in samples of Performance Dog and in a sample of Ground Beef.

Bravo Packing, Inc. is not affiliated with Bravo Pet Foods, a manufacturer of frozen and freeze-dried raw pet foods and pet treats based in Manchester, Connecticut.

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According to a news release dated March 4, 2021, Animal Outlook notified the FDA in December 2020 that the organization had recovered Salmonella from a sample of Performance Dog Diet raw dog food. The sample had been obtained two months earlier from a California distributor of Bravo Packing’s products.

The FDA declined to comment on the Animal Outlook news release. However, a spokesperson for the agency pointed out that it is the FDA’s practice to reinspect facilities that have been the subject of previous enforcement actions, such as Warning Letters.

Bravo Packing has a history of contaminated pet food issues and regulatory infractions.

In September 2018, Bravo Packing recalled all Performance Dog products after the FDA found Salmonella in a sample of the product during the course of an inspection.

In July/August 2019, the FDA carried out another inspection of the manufacturing facility, during which the agency found Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in samples of two different products.

In September 2019, after the company did not respond to the agency’s repeated requests for documentation relating to distribution and recall of the contaminated products, the FDA issued a consumer advisory, cautioning pet owners not to feed Performance Dog raw food products to their pets.

In March 2020, in a follow-up to the July/August 2019 inspection, the FDA issued a formal Warning Letter to the president of Bravo Packing, Inc., citing multiple serious violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulations.

The current investigation is still active, and information on what new or repeat violations the FDA may have found is not yet available.

What Consumers Need to Know

  • Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Pets exposed to contaminated food can be infected without showing symptoms.
  • 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.
  • The FDA also 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.
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Phyllis Entis is the author of TAINTED. From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures. TAINTED was released in early December and is published under the eFoodAlert imprint. She has been a food safety microbiologist for 35 years, and has worked both in government and industry. She believes that everyone — government regulators, farmers and ranchers, food processors, food service workers, educators and consumers — has a responsibility to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as we can make it.