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FDA Inspection Report Shows Disgusting Conditions at Diamond Pet Foods Plant

Cross contamination, filthy and unmaintained equipment, no handwashing stations, employees without gloves… it all sounds like a description of the food industry before health and safety regulations were put into place, right?

Unfortunately, these are all observations made by the FDA during an April  2012 inspection of Diamond Pet Foods’ Gaston, South Carolina dog food manufacturing facility that is now shut down due to salmonella contamination.

The FDA inspection report given to Plant Manager, Douglas N. Braden on April 20, 2012 listed the following observations:


All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.

Specifically, no microbiological analysis is conducted or there is no assurance that incoming animal fat will not introduce pathogens into their production and cause contamination of finished product. Also, the firm’s current sampling procedure for animal digest does (sic) preclude potential for adulteration after sampling and during storage in warehouse. On 4/13/12, an employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.


Failure to provide hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities at each location in the plant where needed.

Specifically, there are no facilities for hand washing or hand sanitizing in the production areas where there is direct contact with exposed finished feed/food.


Failure to maintain equipment, containers and utensils used to convey, hold, and store food in a manner that protects against contamination.

Specifically, paddles in conveyor (South or Middle conveyor leading to the screeners going to packaging) were observed to have gouges and cuts, which exhibited feed residues. The damage to the paddles may allow for harborage areas for microorganisms and are difficult to clean and sanitize.


Failure to maintain equipment so as to facilitate cleaning of the equipment.

Specifically, firm utilizes cardboard, duct tape, and other non cleanable surfaces on equipment. These materials were observed to have residues adhering. The foam gaskets around access doors to the bucket elevators were observed in deteriorating condition and exhibited an accumulation of feed residues and dust.

See the official FDA Inspection Report here.

It’s hard to believe that the manufacturer of some of the most expensive and most highly recommended pet foods operates under such deplorable conditions. Even still, Diamond Pet Foods says on their website that their plant is audited “regularly by a highly respected independent laboratory for food safety, quality and palatability,” and that its products go through 141 ingredient tests and 10 final product quality and safety checks prior to shipment. Really?

Clearly, the health and well-being of our beloved pets is less important to Diamond Pet Foods than their bottom line.



  1. Linda

    Jun 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Does this pertain to every Diamond processing plant or only the one in the article. I have fed Diamond to my dogs for over 9 years with no problem. Mine is not made in the one in this article. During the first big poison dogfood scare feeding Diamond was what saved my dogs from getting sick. If all their plants are as dirty as the one in the article I will certainly change brands or better yet make all my own.

  2. Susan M

    May 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    It is amazing how well marketing work. Call it “Diamond” or “gourmet”, etc. and people suddenly believe they are getting something better. How would you know with dog food? And why is it the FDA finds out about this stuff only after there is an outbreak of illness? Shut the place down. Lock the doors. Throw away the keys.

  3. Nadine walker

    May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    The only way to stop this is never buy anything they make again,I won’t. I changed food to a Canadian Company that says they never c ontract out their production and I spend about $150 a week on cat and dog food

  4. Cynthia

    May 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I cannot believe the overreaction to this report. As a Quality Manager for the Country’s largest Healthcare Services provider, I can tell you that this FDA Audit report is a walk in the park. These observations are not of major concern and are easily correctable. If this is all the FDA found, I would be happy.

    • Brandy Arnold

      May 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Really?? No handwashing stations, machinery that isn’t even able to be cleaned or sanitized, and equipment that allows for microorganisms to grow is not of major concern?

      Whether these issues are easily correctable or not, they never should have become issues in the first place!

    • Kathy

      May 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      If this is not a major concern to us then God help us all!!!

    • Debbie Heuston

      May 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Seriously ?, overreaction? Do you own any pets? If you do, and yours got sick from this , small problem, would you still call it overreacting?

    • Denise Sprout

      May 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Apparently it was of enough concern to shut the whole damn plant down!! And I agree with Brandy Arnold’s comment…if the machinery is not able to be cleaned properly and microoganisms are able to grow in the equipment…it doesn’t matter how easily these issues can be corrected. Why were they allowed to happen in the first place? Can you imagine if we did that at all food plants…human or otherwise? Don’t worry about washing your hands after using the toilet…we’ll worry about that after half the U.S. has gotten sick.
      You might deal with worse issues in your job…but that’s sad. We are supposed to be smarter than this. And if these conditions are a walk in the park for you, then that says a whole heck of a lot about the human race, don’t you think?

    • Frank

      May 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm


      Please advise the name of your healthcare company. I want to make sure I never go to it!

  5. Jennifer Hall

    May 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    wow this really sickens me. I feel guilty for feeding it to my dogs. About 3 1/2 years ago when they had their last recall, two of my dogs were affected.. We switched food for a while but believed that everything was taken care of and went back. Now this… Shame on Diamond foods for keeping their facilities this way, I am appauled.
    This food is not some off brand food either, very exspensive to feed. I didnt mind the price because I thought i was getting what I paid for. I will NEVER again go back to Diamond.. The first time it took my dogs over a month to get thier good caost back and for their thinned spots to come back took several months..I wont reccomend this anymore and sad I did in the first place. I need to look into feeding raw..

  6. Rebecca Little

    May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Does anyone realize what animal digest is?
    This is why I feed all our dogs a raw diet!

  7. Susan

    May 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I have used Diamond for my three dogs for the past 6 years. I knew about the recall prior,and believed that they fixed their problems. It is a shame that they let the products they produce again cause illness in mans/women’s best friend. Thankfully my fur babies have not gotten sick, but who is to say I might have picked up a recalled bag, and feed them for weeks before I read about the recall. It would have been a very different, and sad scenario.
    I will never again purchase any brand made, produced, and or affiliated with the Diamond brand. I urge others to follow my lead. Our fur babies mean the world to us, and I, as a consumer, will not allow badly run company that clearly don’t care for animals, only monies to have any part of my business.

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