Is Viva Raw Pet Food Safe? Unpacking the Details of the Latest FDA Recall

Urgent Alert: Latest FDA Pet Food Recall Announcement

Hello, Dr. Andrew Jones here. If you’re keen to stay informed about natural pet health and wellness, you’ve landed in the right place. Be sure to subscribe to my channel, Veterinary Secrets, for more updates.

On July 1st, Viva Raw Pet Food announced a critical recall concerning several of their raw dog and cat food products. This includes:

  1. Viva Turkey for Dogs Ground 21244 
  2. Viva Turkey for Dogs Chunked 21244
  3. Viva Turkey for Cats 21244
  4. Viva Pure Turkey 21244
  5. Viva Beef &Turkey for Puppies 21244

These products, all manufactured under lot 21244, are recalled due to contamination by a bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes. Although Listeria is rare in dogs and cats, it thrives in cold temperatures and is commonly found in the soil, particularly affecting ruminants like cows during colder months through contaminated feed.

Potential Health Risks from Listeria

Listeria can cause a range of symptoms from mild to severe, including diarrhea, anorexia, fever, neurological issues, pneumonia, and in severe cases, shock and death. While some pets may show no symptoms and act as carriers, spreading the bacteria through their feces, it poses a significant risk to other pets and even humans. Humans exposed to Listeria can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, and serious neurological issues such as encephalitis. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant individuals, the young, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

FDA Recommendations and Safe Disposal

The FDA advises that if your dog or cat shows any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or loss of appetite, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. If you possess any of the recalled products, safely dispose of them by wrapping and placing them in the trash to avoid further contamination. Do not donate or repurpose these items.

The contamination was discovered during an FDA facility inspection where Listeria was specifically isolated from these products. Fortunately, no cases of Listeria in dogs, cats, or humans have been reported yet related to these products.

Best Practices for Handling Raw Pet Food

For those of us, including myself, who feed our pets a raw diet—like my dog Tula—here are a few tips to ensure safety:

  • Defrost raw food in the refrigerator overnight, allowing about 12 hours.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing hands thoroughly after handling pet food and ensuring pet food bowls are cleaned well after use.

Although Listeria is rare and I’ve never encountered it in my veterinary practice, it’s crucial to take precautions, especially with recalled products. However, if your pet is thriving on a raw diet, there’s no need to discontinue—just steer clear of the affected lot 21244.

Thanks for tuning into this edition of Veterinary Secrets. If you found this information useful, don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell icon for notifications. For more tips and a free copy of my book, click the link in the description box below.

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2 thoughts on “Is Viva Raw Pet Food Safe? Unpacking the Details of the Latest FDA Recall”

  1. Yes, Dr Jones, I needed to know about the freeze dried raw dog food, i.e., is the bacteria that is harmful killed in freeze dried dog food..
    Thank you for your help

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