Pet Food Safety Innovations Drive Success for Small Wisconsin Company

Feb 22, 2010, 14:04 ET from Stella & Chewy’s

MUSKEGO, Wis., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Food safety remains a serious issue for American families. Not only are they concerned about the food their family eats, they're also concerned about the food they feed their pets.

In light of recent voluntary recalls of a number of pet food brands, there is heightened concern among both pet product retailers and consumers about potential Salmonella contamination. According to the American Pet Products Association, over 60 million households own dogs and cats. So introducing unsafe pet foods into the home can potentially expose millions of people to dangerous pathogens and present serious health consequences, particularly for young children.

That's why it's good to know that one small pet food company located just outside of Milwaukee has taken an innovative approach to ensure that their dinners and treats are safe for both families and pets while still delivering the high nutritional value dogs and cats need to thrive. That company is Stella & Chewy's.

Pathogen-proofing raw diets

Pet food recalls, which are under the jurisdiction of the FDA, have become more frequent, as witnessed again last week when Nature's Variety initiated a voluntary nationwide recall of a number of their raw products because of potential Salmonella contamination.

"At this company, food safety is our first priority," explains Marie Moody, Stella & Chewy's Founder and President. "And we have the processes in place to prove it." The company has developed a patent-pending SecureByNature® system to guard against food contamination throughout the manufacturing plant. A key component of this system is the HHP (Hydrostatic High Pressure) process – a technology that actually eliminates harmful pathogens without cooking out vital nutrients or changing the natural taste. HHP is the only scientifically recognized pasteurization method that does not use heat or irradiation to accomplish this.

To verify the efficacy of the company's food safety techniques, each batch is tested by an independent laboratory for Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7 before packaging. Stella & Chewy's is so confident in the quality and safety of their products, the test results are posted on their website. In fact, Stella & Chewy's is the first and only line of raw dinners and treats that's Certified Pathogen Safe for families and pets.

The recent voluntary recall by Nature's Variety of a number of their raw products highlights the importance of taking appropriate steps to ensure food safety. "By combining our SecureByNature system with rigorous laboratory testing to confirm its effectiveness," comments Moody, "we are doing everything we can to protect pets and people."

Our patented food safety process was designed by a Regents Distinguished Professor of Food Safety at Kansas State University," says Sandy Goodman, CEO of Stella & Chewy's. "Experts have told us that the food safety programs in place at Stella & Chewy's would be in the forefront of human food manufacturers and are years ahead of the pet food industry."

Providing complete nutrition

To create a family of nutritionally complete and balanced canine and feline dinners, Stella & Chewy's starts with only wholesome ingredients like raw, USDA-inspected meat, raised naturally with no added hormones or antibiotics. Vitamin and mineral supplements are added to meet AAFCO nutritional profiles. Chewy's Chicken Dinner for dogs, for example, contains farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient plus organic cranberries, spinach, broccoli and beets. And just like every Stella & Chewy's dinner and treat, it's made without grain, fillers, artificial preservatives or colorings – not even sugar or salt are added.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that pets are healthier, more energetic and less susceptible to disease when fed a raw diet. Among pet professionals, the verdict is still out on this issue. But like a growing number of consumers, Stella & Chewy's founder Marie Moody is a raw diet believer.

Auspicious beginnings

The origin of Stella & Chewy's traces back to an animal shelter in Los Angeles. Marie rescued Chewy (a real dog with serious health problems) from the shelter and upon a veterinarian's recommendation, put him on a natural, raw meat diet. To her amazement, Chewy was well on the road to recovery within days. Stella, Chewy's best friend, also thrived on this diet.

This experience taught Marie that wholesome, less-processed food (and a lot of love) can dramatically improve a pet's health. But the more she learned about animal nutrition, the less she could understand why there wasn't a commercial product as good as what she could make at home. So with the help of several veterinary nutritionists, Marie developed Stella & Chewy's raw diets.

Taste-tempting varieties

For all dogs and cats, Stella & Chewy's offers a range of 100% nutritionally balanced and complete frozen dinners with fanciful names such as Duck Duck Goose, Charming Chicken, Dandy Lamb and Stella's Super Beef. And playtime wouldn't be complete without Carnivore Kisses and Carnivore Crunch freeze-dried treats.

The company also makes a full line of freeze-dried dinners made from the same premium ingredients as their frozen dinners.

For their complete peace of mind, pet owners can rest assured that every ingredient is sourced from reputable United States suppliers. And since every dinner and treat is made with real, raw meat, they're full of flavor dogs and cats naturally crave.

To learn more about Stella & Chewy's frozen and freeze-dried products, visit The website also features complete information about the company's breakthrough anti-pathogen process as well as their approach to food safety and nutrition.

SOURCE Stella & Chewy’s