Animal Feed Recalled as Threat to Humans Issued

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc., a pet-food company in Ohio, has voluntarily recalled one batch of its Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food over fears it may be contaminated with salmonella.

The FDA published the announcement on its website on June 22, with the federal agency urging anyone who has purchased the product to stop using it immediately and to handle it only when wearing gloves. There have been no reports of actual illness linked to the product.

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The announcement said salmonella was detected in “an inspection sample of product from Lot Number 417429” by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and that Vitakraft Sun Seed was notified on June 18.

The affected product, Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food, 25 ounces, has the UPC number 0-87535-40060-4 and an expiry date of October 18, 2025.

The recall announcement said: “The package is predominantly yellow and white with a picture of a hedgehog in the bottom left corner. The product is described as ‘wholesome nutrition’ and ‘all-in-one pellet.’ Key features highlighted on the package include ‘vitamin fortified,’ ‘highly digestible,’ and ‘high in protein.’ The net weight of the product is 25 ounces (708 grams). The background includes images of grains, emphasizing the wholesome ingredients.”

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The batch being recalled was distributed in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Retailers and distributors who were sent the product have been contacted by the relevant authorities and asked to immediately remove it from sale, the announcement said.

Fed food stock
A stock photo showing pet and animal food on a shelf in a retailer. Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc. has voluntarily recalled a batch of hedgehog food over fears it may be contaminated with salmonella. There…

FrankHoemann/SVEN SIMON/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Individual customers who have bought the hedgehog food are instructed to “discontinue use of the product, handle the remaining product with gloved hands, and wash hands thoroughly after handling the product.” They can also return it to the place of purchase to receive a full refund. Anyone with queries is urged to contact the Vitakraft Sun Seed customer service line at 1-800-221-6175, extension 123, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday to Friday.

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Regarding symptoms, the announcement said: “Hedgehogs with Salmonella infections may be lethargic, have bloody or mucoid diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, become dehydrated and/or death. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. This means that the asymptomatic hedgehog may shed the pathogen in its feces for a short period of time or persistently without any other symptoms of illness.

“As with all pathogens, it is imperative to thoroughly wash hands after handling animals, their food, food dishes and their waste to prevent the transmission of this zoonotic disease. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any symptoms, please contact your veterinarian for proper supportive care.”

Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea (which can be bloody), nausea, vomiting and stomach pains in humans, the FDA said on its website.

The agency added: “Most people recover from salmonellosis in four to seven days without treatment. In some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that the person needs to be hospitalized. In a person with severe diarrhea, the bacteria may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body. If this happens, the disease can be fatal unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.”

The elderly, children under 5, pregnant people and those with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from salmonella.

On June 21, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of “3,551 bags of Green Tripe dog treats” made by TDBBS LLC, a dog-food company in Virginia, over fears they may have been contaminated with “metal objects.”

The supermarket chain Wegmans has recalled four flavors of Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery Ice Cream Cakes after FDA testing found the “presence of possible contamination on the production line,” which could be in the products.

The FDA also announced that New Seasons Market LLC, a grocery chain in Portland, Oregon, recalled its Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart because of the presence of almonds that were not declared on the packaging. The recall received a Class 1 classification, meaning there’s a “reasonable probability” that consumption could “cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”