Dog and cat food recall sparks nationwide warning for pet owners

A nationwide recall has been issued by online pet food subscription site Viva Raw for some of its products over the risk of bacterial contamination.

The Hillsborough, North Carolina, company is recalling five products manufactured in the same lot it was exposed to Listeria monocytogeneswhich, according to a notice published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may pose a “potential health hazard to humans and domestic animals”.

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The products under recall include Viva Turkey for Dogs Ground, Viva Turkey for Dogs Chunked, Viva Turkey for Cats, Viva Pure Turkey and Viva Beef & Turkey for Puppies. All products are manufactured under Lot 21244.

According to the release, the recalled products were distributed to customers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Viva Raw is an online service that delivers fresh dog and cat food to customers on a scheduled subscription plan, reads the company’s website.

This stock image shows a scoop of dry cat food. Online company Viva Raw has issued a recall for five of its nationally distributed products for the risk of possible listeria contamination.

Elena Nikolaeva/Getty Images

The presence of listeria was identified after the FDA conducted sample testing on the Viva Turkey for Dogs product. Samples from Lot 21244 tested positive for the bacteria. The company said all products produced from the same lot “were scheduled for destruction” but that some items were “inadvertently released from the warehouse” to customers.

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“Viva Raw is notifying all customers to whom any Turkey or Beef & Turkey for Puppies products were shipped between May 16 and June 28, 2024,” the release said. “No illness related to this tear has been reported to date.”

Products under recall are shipped as frozen bricks, one kilogram in a clear package. There is no expiration date marked on the packaging.

The FDA notice said listeria can cause “serious and sometimes fatal infections” in pets that eat the contaminated products. People can also be exposed to listeria by handling contaminated produce or coming into contact with pets that have consumed items under recall. There is a higher risk of disease in humans if people “do not thoroughly wash their hands after handling food or contact with their pet, or by not thoroughly cleaning contaminated surfaces,” the briefing read.

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Symptoms of a listeria infection in humans can include nausea, vomiting, pain, fever, and diarrhea. Pregnant women are also more susceptible to infection and the bacteria can cause a miscarriage. The young, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are also at a higher risk of infection, according to the FDA release.

Diseases of domestic animals from a listeria infection are rare. Animals can show symptoms ranging from mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, irritability, muscle and respiratory problems, abortion, depression, shock and, in extreme cases, death.

“Pets exposed to contaminated food can become infected without showing symptoms. Infected pets, even if they do not show symptoms, can act as carriers and transfer L. monocytogenes through their feces and saliva to the home environment and to people and other pets in the household,” the notice states. “If your pet has eaten the recalled product(s) and has symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes infection, please contact your veterinarian.”

Any customers who purchased products under the recall are encouraged to contact Viva Raw at for a refund. Customers are then advised to destroy the products to ensure that children, pets and wildlife do not have access to the food.

“The FDA recommends that people do not touch the contaminated food product with their bare hands,” the announcement states. “While wearing gloves or using paper towels, place contaminated food in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of in the trash. Areas that may have come into contact with contaminated product should be disinfected. Do not sell or donate the recalled products.”