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BREAKING NEWS – FDA Issues Warning Letter To Raw Pet Food Company

In an effort to ensure your pets are safe, we are reporting that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to Lystn LLC (DBA Answers Pet Food), a raw pet food company, after their dog food tested positive for Salmonella.

The letter, dated March 17, 2016 states:

On October 5, 2015, FDA tested samples of your Detailed Answers Chicken Formula dog food. These products were contract manufactured by (b)(4). FDA analysis revealed the products to be contaminated withSalmonella. Specifically, sample #862407 for the Detailed Answers Chicken, 8 ounce raw chicken patties, revealed Salmonella Enteritidis, and sample #913964 for the Detailed Answers Chicken Formula, 2 pounder, revealed Salmonella Kentucky.

FDA’s concerns with Salmonella-contaminated pet foods are two-fold: safety of the animals consuming the product and safety of the humans in the same household. It is more common to have human illnesses linked to contaminated pet food or treats than it is to have an animal illness. The association between human outbreaks of salmonellosis and Salmonella-contaminated pet foods is well established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (see the full letter here.)

But that’s not all. In the smae letter, the FDA also says the company is making false claims on their site:

In addition, your website makes mention to your reliance on cultured whey and montmorillonite, which are food additives, to control “harmful bacteria”; this is beyond their established intended use. As FDA moves forward with implementing preventive controls for food for animals within the Food Safety Modernization Act, firms will be required to validate any method to control a known or foreseeable hazard requiring a preventive control.

In response, Lystn officials issued a new release deny they company had salmonella in any of its pet food or that they would put product on the market that “could result in illness to animals or children.” They maintain they have done extensive testing, as well as a voluntary recall of the product in question and that the FDA is not being cooperative. You can read their full statement here.

Answers Pet Food was named “Best Pet Food You Can Buy” by Susan Thixton, in 2012.

Why is it always raw food?

You may be wondering why these releases always involve raw food. Does kibble not carry salmonella? It can, but the FDA isn’t testing for that.

In an article on her site, Thixton explains that the FDA is only testing raw pet food for Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli and not canned or dry kibble. In addition, she mentions that the FDA has not defined raw or minimally processed food for cats or dogs. (

Since raw food is increasingly gaining market share, we all hope that the FDA DOES define raw and minimally processed as food for cats and dogs to help ensure further safety and protection for the consumer.

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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