When the first of pet food recalls of 2007 occurred in mid March, no one anticipated there would be continuing additions to the list of recalled foods on an almost weekly basis.
The original contaniment identified as the culprit was melamine, but additional contaminents have now been found including Salmonella and acetaminephen necessitating new recalls.
Since mid-May, 2007, additional recalls have included:
MELAMINE CONTAMINATED RECALLS
- Royal Canin: Royal Canin USA announced the nationwide recall of eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products based on the identification of trace amounts of a melamine derivative in a tainted Chinese ingredient labeled as rice protein concentrate, which was provided to the company by domestic ingredient supplier Cereal Byproducts, headquartered in Illinois.
- Costco dog food: The Kirkland, Washington-based Costco has announced the recall of one of its pet foods after the manufacturer announced that it contained rice protein that may be contaminated. American Nutrition says the rice protein concentrate in Costco's "Kirkland Signature Lamb and Rice canned dog food" may contain melamine, an industrial chemical that was found in other recently recalled pet foods.
- Nutra Nuggets: Diamond Pet Foods announced that it has recalled a limited quantity of Nutra Nuggets 40 Lb. Lamb Meal and Rice Formula because of confirmatory testing that indicates the product may include traces of melamine resulting from cross contamination during manufacturing. No animal deaths have been reported.This action is limited to Nutra Nuggets 40 Lb. Lamb Meal and Rice Formula with production codes of NLR0404A2SL, "Best Before" Oct. 9, 2008, and NLR0404B2SL, "Best Before" Oct. 9, 2008. The recalled product was manufactured at the company's Lathrop, Calif. facility. No other Nutra Nuggets products are affected.
WAL-MART SALMONELLA RECALL
Wal-Mart sent out a press release as follows:
Doane Pet Care is announced a voluntary recall on a specific single lot of 55 pound bonus bags of Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food. This product was produced at one facility in Manassas, VA and was distributed exclusively by some Wal-Mart Stores.
Please note that no other Ol' Roy products are affected, and that this recall is not related to the Menu Foods recall (and other recent recalls) of pet food due to tainted Chinese vegetable proteins.
This product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. People handling this pet food can become exposed to Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with this pet food or any surfaces exposed to this product.
Consumers who have the dry dog food bearing the code "04 0735 1" with a "Best By Apr 13 08" should not feed it to their pets. This voluntary recall has been issued because FDA detected Salmonella in the product.
Doane Pet Care has not confirmed the presence of Salmonella, despite extensive independent testing of duplicate samples. Nonetheless, the company is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. The company regrets any inconvenience to pet owners. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product, or any product produced at this facility.
Product: Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food
Size: 55 pound bonus bag
UPC Code: 6 05388 72076 4
Lot Number: 04 0735 1
Best Buy Date: Apr 13 '08
Best Buy Date Location: Back of bag
Affected Stores: Only 69 Wal-Mart Stores potentially received this product from 2 distribution warehouses in Virginia. The 69 stores are located in Maryland (4 stores), North Carolina (10), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (40) and West Virginia (11). A full listing of the affected stores is available at www.doanepetcare.com. This product UPC has been blocked from retail sale at these 69 locations.
Any remaining product should not be fed to pets. Dispose of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the empty bag to the store where purchased for a full refund. Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of this 55 lb bonus bag of Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food products should call 800-624-7387, or visit the web site listed above.
ACETAMINOPHEN CONTAMINATION IN FOOD
According to the ASPCA, "Though reports of dogs and cats poisoned from the Menu Foods recall seem to have abated, this news is extremely worrying," said Dr. Steven Hansen, a board-certified toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).
"Our data show that if an average-sized cat ingests as little as one extra-strength acetaminophen pain-reliever caplet and is not treated in time, it can suffer fatal consequences," continued Dr. Hansen. "Depending on the amount ingested, clinical effects can include a condition called 'methemoglobinemia,' which affects the ability of blood cells to deliver oxygen to vital organs, or even liver damage."
"At this point, we have very little information as to the actual level and concentration of this reported contamination, so it's extremely important to be able to recognize any potential warning signs of this kind of poisoning." However, early information on this contamination suggests that concentration levels are not high enough to have an adverse effect on most dogs; cats are more at-risk.
Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) in New York City, and a board-certified internist, elaborates further. "Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen toxicity for two reasons. First, they don't have enough of a specific enzyme that enables the body to metabolize the drug well. Second, cats are typically more susceptible to red blood cell damage than certain other species of animals. Put these together with a high dose of acetaminophen, and you have a potentially deadly combination."
The most common effects of acetaminophen poisoning in cats include swelling of the face and paws; depression; weakness; and difficulty in breathing. "We also see a condition called 'cyanosis,'" said Dr. Hansen, "which is literally when their gums and tongue start turning a muddy color due to the lack of oxygen."
In 2006, the APCC received more than 78,000 calls to its hotline involving common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements--a 69 percent increase over 2005.
Until more information is provided by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the ASPCA urges pet parents to keep an eye out for any signs of illness in their pets, and also report any changes in dietary consumption or behavior to their veterinarian immediately. Those considering a home-cooked diet for their pets should do so in consultation with their veterinarian, or visit the ASPCA's Web site for more information.
For a full list of recalled pet foods go to: