Milwaukee-based pet food manufacturer Stella & Chewy's has announced a recall of its products after discovering a potential Listeria contamination in one of its samples of chicken dinner patties for dogs.
Officials from the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) issued a stop sale order to the pet food company after they found traces of Listeria monocytogenes on a single product lot of Chewy's 15-ounce Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs.
In an official statement released through its website, Stella & Chewy's said there have been no reported cases of human or pet illnesses related to the contamination, but it has decided issue the product recall as a preventive measure.
Aside from the product lot in question, designated as Lot # 111-1, the company is also voluntarily pulling out several other products that could have been exposed to the potential Listeria contamination.
Some of the products affected by the recall include Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats, Carnivore Crunch - Turkey Recipe and Frozen Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels for Dogs.
"The health and safety of our customers and their pets is always of the utmost importance to us," Stella & Chewy's CEO Jen Guzman said.
"We are accountable for every dinner and treat we make and recognize that we have an important obligation to provide customers with the quality products they deserve and have come to expect from us over the years."
Stella & Chewy's added that it is now working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the incident further and to properly address the situation. The pet food company has also hired a third-party expert to carry out a root cause analysis in order to identify how the Listeria organism entered its production line.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Listeria, or listeriosis, as a serious infection that primarily afflicts older people, pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems. The disease is contracted by consuming food contaminated with the bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.
A person infected by Listeria typically experiences fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
The disease can cause pregnant women to suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery. The life-threatening bacterium can also be transmitted from the mother to child.
Animals that contract Listeria can also experience the same symptoms as those observed in humans.