Stella & Chewy’s recalls products due to Listeria concerns

Oak Creek-based pet food manufacturer Stella & Chewy’s LLC has voluntarily recalled some of its products after one of its products tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The positive test was performed on the 15-ounce Chewy’s Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs, during routine surveillance testing by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Listeria can cause serious and even deadly infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. It can result in miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Those with healthy immune systems may experience short-term symptoms like high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Stella & Chewy’s is taking steps to prevent illness by recalling all products included in the same lot as the dinner patties that tested positive. These include: 15-ounce Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs, expiration between April 23, 2016 and April 26, 2016; 15-ounce Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats, expiration between April 29, 2016 and May 3, 2016; 3.25-ounce Carnivore Crunch-Turkey Recipe, expiration between May 3 and May 4, 2016; four-pound Frozen Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels for Dogs, expiration April 21, 2016; four-pound Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Morsels for Dogs, expiration April 21, 2016; six-pound Frozen Surf ‘N Turf Dinner Patties for Dogs, expiration April 21, 2016; six-pound Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs, expiration April 21, 2016; and three-pound Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs, expiration April 21, 2016.

Out of an abundance of caution, the company has also recalled 10 other products that may have come in contact with the affected lot, listed here.

No human or pet illnesses have been reported as a result of the contamination. Consumers who have purchased the products are asked to dispose of the food and return the bag to the store at which it was purchased for a full refund.

The company said it is in the process of determining how Listeria entered its production area after the High Pressure Processing step, which inactivates Listeria.

“The health and safety of our customers and their pets is always of the utmost importance to us,” said chief executive officer Jen Guzman in a statement on the company’s website. “We are accountable for every dinner and treat we make and recognize that we have an important obligation to provide customers with the quality products they deserve and have come to expect from us over the years.”

Guzman was not available for further comment this morning.

Stella & Chewy’s is in the process of transitioning to its new 164,000-square-foot facility in Oak Creek’s OakView Business Park, and planned to host a grand opening celebration in mid-July.
The new facility will support more than four times the company’s current overall production capacity.

Stella & Chewy’s, which is expecting more than $50 million in sales in 2015, is considered southeastern Wisconsin’s fastest-growing company. Last year, it topped the “Fastest Five” list compiled by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Council of Small Business Executives.

For more information on the company, read the Oct. 27, 2014 cover story “Bow WOW! Stella & Chewy’s is on the fast track.”

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