Science

Pet Deaths Prompt Recall of Pet Food

Posted March 16, 2007
Updated March 24, 2007

— A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Harris Teeter, Wal-Mart, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, Menu Foods said in announcing the North American recall. Product testing has not revealed a link explaining the reported cases of illness and death, the company said.

"At this juncture, we're not 100 percent sure what's happened," said Paul Henderson, the company's president and chief executive officer. However, the recalled products were made using wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier, since dropped for another source, spokeswoman Sarah Tuite said. Wheat gluten is a source of protein.

The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between December 3 and March 6 throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and PetSmart Inc., among others, Henderson said.

Menu Foods did not immediately provide a full list of brand names and lot numbers covered by the recall, saying they would be posted on its Web site - http://www.menufoods.com/recall _ early Saturday. Consumers with questions can call (866) 463-6738.

Repeated calls to that number over several hours Friday night got only a busy signal. Attempts to reach a company spokeswoman for an explanation were unsuccessful.

The company said it manufacturers for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies, including Procter & Gamble Co.

P&G announced Friday the recall of specific 3 oz., 5.5 oz., 6 oz. and 13.2 oz. canned and 3 oz. and 5.3 oz. foil pouch cat and dog wet food products made by Menu Foods but sold under the Iams and Eukanuba brands. The recalled products bear the code dates of 6339 through 7073 followed by the plant code 4197, P&G said.

Menu Foods' three U.S. and one Canadian factory produce more than 1 billion containers of wet pet food a year. The recall covers pet food made at company plants in Emporia, Kansas, and Pennsauken, New Jersey, Henderson said.

Henderson said the company received an undisclosed number of owner complaints of vomiting and kidney failure in dogs and cats after they had been fed its products. It has tested its products but not found a cause for the sickness.

"To date, the tests have not indicated any problems with the product," Henderson said.

The company alerted the Food and Drug Administration, which already has inspectors in one of the two plants, Henderson said. The FDA was working to nail down brand names covered by the recall, agency spokesman Mike Herndon said.

Menu Foods is majority owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, based in Ontario, Canada.

Henderson said the recall would cost the company the Canadian equivalent of $26 million to $34 million.

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11 Comments

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  • kstor33 Mar 22, 2007

    Kittnkboodle...you're right! P&G have a huge hold on the market as they make a tremendous amount of products. I had to do a little research to find companies that don't test on animals and there are amazingly alot of them. I was pleasantly surprised! Companies you wouldn't even suspect...like Method Products(available at Target), Avon & Revlon cosmetics(available everywhere). And these are not expensive either. You can usually find Revlon products at CVS in some BOGO free sale. Just not that many people know about it. Here is a link to other companies(cosmetic & household cleaners) that don't test on animals. I urge you to give them a "look see". Please...
    http://www.caringconsumer.com/resources_companies.asp

  • moe1991 Mar 19, 2007

    this is very disturbing knowning what are pets might be eating
    and how they might become sick

  • goheels Mar 17, 2007

    SPEEDY........my pets behave better and are more responsible than part of the human population and I will spend whatever money I want on taking care of them. They love without question or conditions and all they ask it to be fed and loved back!! You...I wouldn't spend a nickel on!!!!!!!!

  • kittnkboodle Mar 17, 2007

    kstor - how can you NOT buy Proctor and Gamble? They make just about everything!

  • speedy Mar 17, 2007

    "Iwork"

    You are right, but I have a hard time feeding pets when we don't even feed our people. A shame? Yes. A "major lawsuit"? I don't see it. If you want a "member of the family" to feed, adopt a kid without a mother or father.

  • Iworkforaliving Mar 17, 2007

    I apologize for my childish comment, but there was no need for a heartless comment like that. "soooo,this is a problem?"

  • Iworkforaliving Mar 17, 2007

    speedy is a waste of skin.

  • speedy Mar 17, 2007

    If people would spend 10% of what they spend on pet food and spend it on hungry children instead, we'd have no hungry children. Sad.

  • daddysgirl2730 Mar 17, 2007

    I know that just a refund for any of the food is UNACCEPTABLE! If anything happens to any of my dogs there will be a major lawsuit. My dogs are a part of my family and I will protect them. It's a damn shame that testing is done on animals to start with. This looks to me like a way for the comapny to save costs without acknowledging the consequences. Maybe we should use the people who work for the company as "lab rats!" I don't really care either if anyone post negative to what I said......

  • speedy Mar 17, 2007

    Soooo, this is a problem?

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