There have been a startling number of recalls in the year 2017 already, with reports coming from Blue Buffalo, WellPet, Grreat, and other brands that certain lots had been contaminated with pieces of aluminum metal. Two other recalls from Against the Grain Pet Food Inc. and Evanger’s dog food were prompted by a darker issue — findings of pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize pets.
The result of mistakes or improper procedures at the manufacturing plants that supply these brands have cost several pets their lives, and even more their health.
The most anyone can do is educate themselves on the facts of pet food recalls. Understanding the causes of each event can provide some assistance in avoiding unexpected illness, or worse.
While pet food recalls are not expected, they can be handled much easier with the proper information.
Whether it’s shavings of metal or pieces of plastic from improperly handled packaging, machinery, or other sources, foreign objects can cause serious problems for pet health when ingested.
So far in 2017, only lots of Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food with Chicken & Rice sold in PetSmart stores have been recalled, following consumer complaints of metal contamination. Recalls from Blue Buffalo, Companion, and WellPet were initiated without customer complaint, acknowledging the health risk posed. In 2016, Mars Petcare recalled lots of Cesar brand Filet Mignon Flavor wet dog food after several complaints of small, hard, plastic pieces found in the product.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no requirement that pet food products gain pre-market approval from the regulatory department, but that the ingredients used in such products must be safe to eat and used appropriately.
The FDA maintains that it regulates pet food just like it does other foods, for quality and transparency.
“The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled,” the FDA website states. “In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms…”
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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