THE DETAILS: Hartz Mountain Company, which owns Hartz brand pet products, has recalled 74,700 bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs sold in eight-ounce packages. All the recalled products are from a single lot, coded BZ0969101E and bearing the UPC number 32700-11519. The company is advising anyone who believes he or she may have purchased a recalled product to check the package for that specific lot code. If the code is on your package, or if you can't see a lot code of any sort on the package, discard the product and call Hartz Customer Service (800-275-1414) for information on how to get reimbursed.
The products were imported from Brazil, the company stated in a press release, and although tests from the supplier didn't detect Salmonella when the products were shipped, customs officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did find the bacteria while doing random inspections.
WHAT IT MEANS: Dogs suffering from salmonella poisoning are often lethargic and suffer from a loss of appetite, and may have fevers, bloody stools or vomit, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Salmonella can also afflict humans who handle the dog treats. Fortunately, the company hasn't had any reports of either ill people or dogs associated with this recall.
As Hartz investigates the source of this outbreak, you can make your own "natural" dog treats with safe ingredients. After all, just because a package says "natural" doesn't mean the ingredients are any safer or better regulated. The term natural isn't regulated by the FDA, and can mean whatever a food manufacturer would like you to believe.