US court orders New Jersey firm to stop pet food production until it meets safety standards

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/imaginima
© GettyImages/imaginima

Related tags pet food Fda US Department of Justice Salmonella

A US federal court has ordered a Carneys Point, New Jersey company to stop to stop selling and manufacturing raw pet food until it can show adherence to federal law.

A complaint filed March 15 by the US Department of Justice, on behalf of the FDA, alleged that Bravo Packing Inc., and its owners and operators, Joseph Merola and Amanda Lloyd, violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by distributing adulterated animal food and by causing animal food to become adulterated while held for sale.

The defendants agreed to settle the suit and be bound by a consent decree​ of permanent injunction, which was issued by US District Judge, Noel L Hillman.

The decree requires that Bravo Packing Inc stop receiving, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packing, holding and distributing adulterated pet food until it takes specific remedial measures and shows the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it is complying with the FDCA.

FDA facility inspections 

The complaint alleged that samples collected during FDA inspections of the Bravo facility in July 2019 and April 2021 contained salmonella. The FDA reportedly found evidence of significant food safety violations during those site visits including grossly insanitary conditions and the failure to follow current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for animal food. The company also received a warning letter​ from that agency in 2020.

Steven Solomon, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the agency had taken the action to protect public health because, despite multiple inspections, notifications of violations, and recalls, the firm, in question, continued “to operate under insanitary conditions and produce pet food contaminated with harmful bacteria.”​ 

A pet food company based in Manchester, Connecticut, in the US, stressed that it is a completely different entity to the firm at the center of this injunction.

Bravo Pet Foods has been producing ultra high end frozen and freeze dried diets for pets for 20 years. "We have no relationship, of any kind, with Bravo Packing of NJ,"​ the CEO, Melinda Miller, said. 

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