Tuesday, March 20, 2007


No, it’s not another Los Osos Recall, but this time, it’s for Dog & Cat Food

The following press release came from Whole Dog Journal. If you own a dog or cat, please visit the website and check out the recalled food being listed. So far as I know, it applies only to wet, canned food and/or soft-food in pouches, the suspected poison coming from wheat gluten.

On Friday, March 16, Menu Foods, a contract manufacturer of wet pet foods, announced that it was recalling millions of containers (cans and foil pouches) of wet dog food and cat food. The company said the recalled products were made between December 3 and March 6 for dozens of different pet food companies and sold under more than 50 brand names. The recall was prompted by reports of the deaths of at least 10 dogs and cats, as well as reports of dozens more animals who suffered acute kidney failure after eating the implicated products. The foods were sold in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada and sold by major retailers including Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Safeway.
A complete list of the recalled products, along with product codes, descriptions, and production codes, is available from the Menu Foods website at or by calling the company at (866) 895-2708. Check the list often; at the time of release of this message, Menu Foods had added more products to the recall list at least twice since its initial release.
Also, several foods that (as of the release of this message) are NOT on the recall list but were manufactured by Menu are being recalled by their companies. Most notable are five Science Diet wet cat foods.
Menu said in a statement that tests of its food had “failed to identify any issues with the products in question.” However, Sarah Tuite, a spokeswoman for Menu Foods, told the New York Times that Menu did associate the timing of the reported deaths with its use of a new supplier for wheat gluten (in our opinion, a low-quality source of protein). The company has since switched back to its former source for wheat gluten.
Most of the products on the recall list are inexpensive "store brands," made for grocery store retail outlets under a variety of names. The major exceptions to this are Iams and Eukanuba, products recognized by most pet owners due to their healthy market share, heavy marketing, and pervasive presence in almost every pet supply chain.
So far, only two foods that have made an appearance on a WDJ "top foods" list have also appeared on the recall list: Nutro's Ultra and Nutro Natural Choice. The Nutro product featured in the 2007 list of "top wet foods," "Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice, and Oatmeal" variety, does not contain wheat gluten and is not on the recall list. However, the Nutro product highlighted on WDJ's 2006 list, Nutro's Ultra Holistic, does contain wheat gluten and is on the recall list.
Owners who fed any of the recalled products in the past three months should be alert for signs of kidney failure in their pets: extreme lethargy, a sudden change in the amount the animal drinks or urinates, jaundice (indicated by the yellowing of the animal's skin and/or whites of eyes), inappetence, and vomiting. As always, if your pet suddenly declines to eat a food he or she has previously enjoyed, cease feeding the product and call the manufacturer with the product date code for more information. Always contact your veterinarian promptly if your animal shows signs of illness.

Thank you,The Whole Dog Journal Team


Anonymous said...

My sweet cat Firecracker showed signs of kidney failure right before Christmas. After an expensive life saving stint at Bear Valley - who we LOVE - returned home with a special diet and IV fluids. Unfortunately the damage was extensive enough that after 2 additional months of touch and go, he could no longer fight and our family could no longer watch him suffer.

The Vet was not sure how this could have happened "out of the blue" but I'm wondering if it was his food. We were told that he had a 50/50 chance of recovery and since we first thought he just had a cold we didn't take him in as soon as we should have. He lived his 9 lives really fast and short and he is buried in his favorite sunning spot. If your pet is getting lethargic, please don't wait like we did, we just didn't know.
Maria M. Kelly

Churadogs said...

Holey Cow. I'm so sorry. The symptoms sound just like what was turning up all over. The press release noted the dates of concern, Did you check the link? I wonder,if he was eating any of the listed brands during that period of time, I'd be highly suspect.

This is scary stuff because the damage can be so widespread and go on for so long before reports start coming in, so it's impossible to connect the dots quickly. There isn't any central clearinghouse among vets, I don't think, although there are contact/research sites, so maybe word started to get out?

I hope evryone with pets will check the link and check the list and dates. Again, I'm so sorry.

*PG-13 said...

What I'm finding a bit odd is how the disclosures are kind of trickling in. You can't just check the list once and presume you're safe. Even more aggravating is how convoluted the pet food industry is with single source suppliers providing content for a wide range of labels. Some of them prime labels. Which makes it difficult to ensure whether the food in our can - regardless of its label - is on the list or not. I checked the MenuFoods list, didn't see any labels we feed our kids and presumed we were safe. But then I decided to call the number and confirm that. After many many attempts to get through I finally spoke with a MenuFood telephone agent who told me that even though Nestle Purina products were not on their published list some of their products (both cat and dog products) were being recalled but Nestle Purina wanted to manage their recall themselves and I was directed to call Nestle Purina at 800-551-7392. When I called that number I heard a recording which owned up to some limited dog food recall but nothing else. And then told me to call 800-778-8864 for more information. Of course, getting thru to any of these numbers is challenging and time-consuming. I'm still trying to ascertain whether our food really is safe. And I'm getting fairly ticked at Nestle Purina for their mis-direction. Seems to me if the MenuFoods agent had information about a Nestle Purina recall that information should be made available, as quickly as possible, to the caller. Go figure.

I also noted earlier today that the website had changed yet again in response to the huge support surge they're experiencing. Given the way this is unfolding I recommend anyone with in an interest in this affair check this website daily for new information. I'd also recommend if you have any concern or question at all about your can or box of pet food call the manufacturer directly.

Anonymous said...

Thank the Good God that I feed my multiple critters a good dry food.

I think I would sue, sue, sue if any of my beloved pets health was compromised by tainted food.
What a complete bunch of bull sh*t. There should be a Pure Food and Drug Commission for pet foods, too!!

Our pets are our companions, and close friends, sometimes better than people we know.

Churadogs said...

The Whole Dog Journal regularly does ratings on the various dog foods, listing their criteria for manufacturing guidelines & practices (kinda like the Consumer Reports ratings). The problem with all of this is legallly there is no way to force manufacturers to disclose what they're doing to a Whole Dog Journal, the FDA is completely overburdened on nearly everything they do, there is little or no oversite on dog food manufacturers, huge companies make and sell to different brands so it's hard to know who's making what, there's not much general oversight as to cow/sheep/chicken raising (factory farmed) so the meat that goes into the kibble and can is, well, let's just say, you don't want to go there, there can be a pesticide tainted shipment of corn or wheat, say, and it can get into a batch before anyone can possibly know and out the door and into our pooches and a nationwide sick dog/cat reporting mechanism is nonexistent. It's a constant case of Russian Roulette. And human food isn't that much better . . . so, caveat emptor on all of it. Alas.