Four year anniversary 0f Melamine Pet Food Recalls 2007-2011
Recall — Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Wellpet LLC Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots Of Canned Cat Food
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 28, 2011 – WellPet LLC announced today it has voluntarily recalled certain lots of Wellness® canned cat food.
While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine. However, out of an abundance of caution, WellPet has decided to recall all of the lots listed below.
Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.
The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:
Wellness Canned Cat Food (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;
Wellness Canned Cat Food Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.
Consumers who still have cans of cat food from these lots should stop feeding them to their cats and call us at (877) 227-9587 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Eastern Time. Consumers with further questions should visit our website at www.wellnesspetfood.com2 or call us at this same number.
WellPet discovered the lower thiamine levels during independent testing conducted together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to a single, isolated consumer complaint received by the FDA. Although WellPet has received no other reports concerning thiamine in its products, WellPet has taken additional steps with the manufacturer to ensure that this does not happen again.
“As a pet parent myself, I’m concerned for the health and welfare of all pets, and as a company we are committed to delivering the most nutritious natural pet food,” said Tim Callahan, chief executive officer of WellPet, the maker of Wellness products. “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”
Recalled Product Photos Are Also Available on FDA’s Flickr Photostream.6
Discussion at Itchmo Forums http://itchmoforums.com/news-recall-related/wellness-canned-cat-food-recall-t12641.0.html;msg194364#msg194364
Feline’s Pride Issues Nationwide Recall of its Natural Chicken Formula Cat Food Due to Salmonella ContaminationJuly 1, 2010
Feline’s Pride Issues Nationwide Recall of its Natural Chicken Formula Cat Food Due to Salmonella Contamination
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 1, 2010 – Buffalo, NY – Feline’s Pride is announcing a voluntary recall of Feline’s Pride Raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens, Natural Chicken Formula, Net Wt. 2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg., 40 oz.) produced on 6/10/10, because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. People handling raw pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the raw pet food or any surfaces exposed to the product.
When consumed by humans, Salmonella can cause an infection, salmonellosis. The symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, minimal diarrhea, fever, and headache. Certain vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems, are particularly susceptible to acquiring salmonellosis from such pet food products and may experience more severe symptoms.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
The product is packaged in uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private consumers nationwide. Once thawed, the pet food has a shelf life of about 1 week. The firm manufactures the pet food by an as-ordered basis. This recall affects only those orders placed and shipped from June 10 through June 17, 2010.
The firm and FDA are investigating this matter to determine the source of this problem, and will take any additional steps necessary to protect the public health.
To date, both the firm and the FDA have received no reports of Salmonella infection relating to this product.
This product should not be fed to pets but should instead be disposed of in a safe manner (e.g., in a securely covered trash receptacle). People who are experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection after having handled the pet food product should seek medical attention, and report their use of the product and illness to the nearest FDA office.
People should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the pet food – especially those made from raw animal protein such as meat or fish — to help prevent infection. People may risk bacterial infection not only by handling pet foods, but by contact with pets or surfaces exposed to these foods, so it is important that they thoroughly wash their hands with hot water and soap.
Since certain vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems, are particularly at risk from exposure they should avoid handling this product.
Consumers with questions should contact the company at (716) 580-3096, Monday –Friday from 10 am – 4 pm EDT.
Did you know that:
There is a pet food recall on an average of once every three months. The past month alone has seen at least two pet food product recalls and a “product withdrawal” (an under-the-table way of recalling product without the scary “recall” word being put in front of the public). Potentially toxic mold, omission of critical nutrients, over-or under-dosing of vitamins and minerals—all these are threats to the lives and health of our pets, and all have been present in pet foods in the very recent past.
Over the past few years, two horrible pet food disasters stand out especially. The widespread presence of kidney-damaging melamine in pet foods made by Menu Foods, a subcontractor company that does food production for many well-known brands, caused an estimated 14,000+ dead and damaged pets in the US and Canada in 2006 and 2007. Melamine, a plastic used in dishes and fertilizer, was deliberately added by Chinese suppliers of wheat gluten, one ingredient in the pet foods, to falsify protein tests. In 2008, a very high-end brand of dry cat food was subjected to high levels of irradiation when imported to Australia, causing changes in the food that resulted in very severe neurological damage and ended in death for many cats whose families are still paying the costs. Many problems caused by pet food go undiagnosed or unreported.
The “standards” for nutrition in commercial pet foods are very weak. AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, specifies in its handbook the following protocol for assuring an adult dog food is nutritionally adequate:
Eight dogs older than 1 yr. must start the test. At start all dogs must be normal weight & health. A blood test is to be taken from each dog at the start and finish of the test. For 6 months, the dogs used must only eat the food being tested. The dogs finishing the test must not lose more than 15% of their body weight. During the test, none of the dogs used are to die or be removed because of nutritional causes. Six of the 8 dogs starting must finish the test.
Not very stringent standards, are they? All the food has to do to “meet standards” is not starve or kill your dog in six months. That’s all. Yet many pets eat the same food every day for fifteen to twenty years. And the members of AAFCO themselves are all members of the pet food industry. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!
The FDA cannot issue mandatory recalls for pet food that is known to be unsafe. (In fact, the FDA has no authority to mandate a recall on anything but baby formula.) Recalls are at the discretion of the manufacturer. So a company that knows a given batch of pet food contains, say, fragments of metal from a machine that broke during a production run, is under no absolute obligation to do anything about it. And when customers call with complaints, the pet food company’s answer is almost always, “We have had no other complaints about that problem,” when in fact there may have been plenty of other complaints.
What you can do:
- If your pet is ill, contact your vet and let the vet know if you have reason to believe the food is causing a problem.
- If you have a pet food problem, contact both the company and the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm
Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
- Learn about pet food ingredients; what’s good, what’s bad, and where they come from. Carefully read the labels on your pet’s food.
- Save all receipts for pet food, and save the original packaging until the food is consumed by your pet.
- Become involved in advocating for safe, nutritious pet food.
For more information:
itchmoforums.com An active pet forum with information about food ingredients, recalls, specific product reviews and experiences. ItchmoForums does not receive corporate sponsorship or funding, and does not accept advertising.
http://www.pfpsa.org Pet Food Products Safety Alliance, a consumer group that tests pet food and posts test results.
Timeline for the Menu Foods recalls of 2007.
Description and discussion of effects of irradiated food on Australian cats.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com Consumer Affairs lists consumer complaints about a large variety of products, including pet foods. Search for your pet’s food on this site, and you may be surprised. Also publishes articles on pet food problems and recalls.
FDA is providing the following information from Premium Edge Pet Foods to alert pet owners of a voluntary recall of certain cat foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods for Premium Edge. The affected brands were found to contain an inadequate level of thiamine, which may cause clinical signs of thiamine deficiency in cats eating this food. FDA is working on this situation and will provide additional information as it becomes available. If your veterinarian diagnoses that your cat has become ill from consuming the affected pet food, please ask your veterinarian to file a report with FDA.
Diamond Pet Foods has issued a voluntary recall on the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult cat food and Premium Edge Hairball cat food: RAF0501A22X 18lb., RAF0501A2X 6 lb., RAH0501A22X 18 lb., RAH0501A2X 6lb. The date of manufacture is May 28, 2009. All retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves. The retailers were also asked to contact their customers via email or telephone requesting them to check the date code of the food. However, if you or anyone you know has these date codes of Premium Edge cat food, please return them to your retailer.
Symptoms displayed by an affected cat will be neurological in nature. Symptoms may include wobbly walking or muscle weakness, paralysis of the hindlimbs, seizures, ventroflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, and abnormal eye movement called nystagmus. Any cats fed these date codes that display these symptoms should be immediately taken to a veterinarian.
The company tested the product and found no contaminants in the cat food; however the cat foods were deficient in thiamine. Diamond tracked the vitamin premix lot number that was utilized in these particular cat foods and have performed testing on another lot of Premium Edge cat food that used the same vitamin premix, and it was not deficient in thiamine. No other neurological signs have been reported on any other product manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.
To contact Premium Edge Pet Foods, please call 800-977-8797 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm central time, Monday through Friday.
How to Report a Pet Food Complaint
Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
Communications Staff, HFV-12
7519 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855
Pet Food Express has now announced that they are pulling from their shelves all Wysong dry products, not just the recalled lots of dog food, until Wysong can demonstrate that the food is safe and unaffected by the current problem.
Pet Food Express deserves kudos for their attention to product safety.