Friday, May 11, 2012

Updates on Salmonella Linked to Tempeh and Pet Food and the Importance of Supplier Control

Here are updates for two ongoing outbreak investigations/recalls. Interestingly, both cases indicate the importance of supplier control – in the case of tempeh, it was an ingredient bought from an on-line supplier, and with the pet food, a co-packer has impacted other retail brands.
Salmonella in Tempeh (original post -

The number of Salmonella cases associated with contaminated tempeh has increased to 63 according to the NC Department of Ag. In testing, it was found that the starter culture used was responsible for the contamination. The company who sold the starter culture was Tempeh Online, which one can guess is a small, web-based company. (If we think about Supplier Control – it can be difficult for one buying an important component on the web from a unknown entity, where there is limited opportunity to investigate the supplier. Starter culture is an ingredient that needs tight process control in that if the process is contaminated, that contaminate, in this case Salmonella, may grow right along with the designated culture, or can contaminate the culture through cross contamination if handling procedures are not good).

Salmonella-tainted culture shipped from Maryland company
 Test confirms tempeh salmonella source

Salmonella News Update 5/10/12
 On Thursday, May 10, Buncombe County Department of Health received final test results from the NC Department of Public Health laboratory confirming that the unopened bag of culture that was added to the tempeh tested positive for the matching strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B linked to the current disease outbreak.
The US Food and Drug Administration is already involved in tracing the origin of the ingredient to identify source of contamination as well as the potential for other Salmonella outbreaks in the US.
As of May 10 at 2 PM, Buncombe County Department of Health reports 58 cases associated with salmonella outbreak. Please keep in mind that this number does not include cases being reported in other counties or states.
NC Department of Public Health reports 63 cases, which includes cases in NC and other states; however there is a slight delay in reporting.
To listen to information, call the HOTLINE: 828.250.5300 (English, Spanish and Russian).
 To report symptoms of Salmonella Paratyphi B, call Communicable Disease Nurses: 828.250.5109.

Pet Food and Salmonella (Original Post -

As of 5/11/12,CDC reports there are now 16 related illnesses.

A total of 15 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported from 9 states. Additionally, one ill person has been reported from Canada.
  • The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). One new ill person was reported from Pennsylvania.
  • Among the 10 patients with available information, 5 (50%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported
  • Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections.

The FDA news releases state that additional companies are recalling product made by Diamond Pet Food. The pet food has been linked to 14 cases of Salmonella. Companies that use Diamond to co-pack product must now react in the event that their product to may be linked to Diamond. Here again, another supplier control issue. Co-packing is an important part of the food supply chain. Many retailer branded products are produced by co-packers and must rely on these companies food safety systems. If there is an issue with co-packer produced product, and it may be a different brand such as in this case, it may result in a major blow to the retailer’s brand as well. 

From the FDA Recall notice.

May 9, 2012
Diamond Pet Foods has expanded its recall of some brands of dry dog and cat food manufactured in its Gaston, South Carolina facility between December 9, 2011 and April 7, 2012 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The FDA, CDC and state and local officials are collaborating to investigate cases of human illness linked to some brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at the South Carolina facility.

Consumers should check the company’s website, Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information6 , for information on how to read lot codes and “best by” dates involved in the recall, as well as specific states where the following products were distributed:

· Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
· Country Value
· Diamond
· Diamond Naturals
· Premium Edge
· Professional
· 4Health
· Taste of the Wild
· Apex (distributed only in the state of South Carolina)
· Kirkland Signature (Costco)
· Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain (Costco)
· Canidae
Several other companies with products manufactured at the Gaston, S.C. facility have issued voluntary recalls, since some of their products were produced at the Gaston facility during the time frame of the recalls and have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Those companies include:
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance7
Apex Pet Foods8
Canidae9, Wellpet LLC10
Solid Gold Health Products for Pets11

Diamond Pet Foods continues to work directly with distributors and retailers where the recalled products are carried to remove them as quickly as possible from the marketplace. FDA will provide updates on the recall and the investigation as new information becomes available. Complete information on the recalled products, including photos, lot numbers, and distribution information on each is located at Diamond Pet Foods Recall Information.


  1. Great post but i am pet food adviser and Pet food normally sold in pet food supply stores and pet food supermarkets, it is usually exact to the type of animal, for instance dog food or cat food. A big quantity of meat used for non-human animals is a by-product of the human food manufacturing.
    Natural dog food

  2. Your content really awesome as well as so helpful for my Food Safety Testing Market Research and Development.

  3. Pet food or Home Food For Dogs is plant or animal material intended for consumption by pets. It can be found in pet stores and supermarkets, it is usually specific to the type of animal, such as dog food or cat food. Most meat used for nonhuman animals is a byproduct of the human food industry.