Pet Food Recall
Several well-known brands of dog and cat food have been recalled because they are causing vomiting and kidney failure.
Menu Foods, the Ontario, Canada-based company that produced the pet food, said Saturday it was recalling dog food sold throughout North America under 48 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was distributed by major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.
An unknown number of cats and dogs had suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, the company said.
A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates was available from the Menu Foods Web site, http://www.menufoods.com/recall. The company also designated two phone numbers that pet owners could call for information — (866) 463-6738 and (866) 895-2708 — but callers kept the lines busy for much of Saturday.
Menu Foods’ chief executive and president Paul Henderson told the Associated Press on Friday that the company was still trying to figure out what happened. He said that the company had received an undisclosed number of owner complaints that dogs and cats were vomiting and suffering kidney failure after eating its products. He estimated that the recall would cost the company, which is mostly owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, an estimated $26 million to $34 million.
Sarah Tuite, a company spokeswoman, has said the recalled products were made using wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier, which has since been dropped for another source. Wheat gluten is a source of protein. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said it is still too early to determine what could have affected the food. Zawisza added that even if wheat gluten is the source “it doesn’t necessarily mean the wheat gluten per se. It could be another substance associated with the wheat gluten.”
You’d think these companies would have some sort of testing procedure in place to make sure food isn’t contaminated. That’s doubly true if they have switched to a new supplier.