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Pet Food Recall Alert

Pet Food Recall Alert - March16, 2007, April 16, 2007 and May 4, 2007

NOTE: By now, you are probably familiar with the extensive national recall of many brands of pet food. Sadly, many dogs and cats have been sickened, and a some have died as a result of eating contaminated food. This is a tragic event, and our hearts go out to the families who are dealing with the heartache of the situation.
 
 We want to reassure you that NONE of HealthyPetNet’s pet food products are affected by any of the pet food recalls. We are providing information about the recalls as the information is released. We consider the contaminated ingredients to be inferior sources of protein and therefore do not use them in any of our products. In fact, we have never used these ingredients and you have our assurances that we never will. Our foods, treats and supplements include only human-quality ingredients sourced from trusted U.S. suppliers. Our quality control program is designed to keep our pet foods and treats safe. more info

Click the links for specific information.

  • 5/04/2007 Pet Food Recall: Dog & Cat Owners Urged to Use USA Sourced Food Only

  • 5/04/2007 Petfood recall widens on cross-contamination
  • 4/16/2007 Natural Balance recalled Venison dog and cat foods

  • 4/05/2007 - Some Recalled Product Dates Pushed back to November, Sunshine Mills Treats Joins Recall


  • 3/31/2007 - Major pet food recall expands to dry food - 2 more companies announced pet food recalls
  • 3/16/2007 - Menu Foods- Recalling some Dog and Cat Food brands 
    • Rat poison in pet food blamed for 17 deaths
    • Luxury, low-end brands can share basic ingredients
    • Limited FDA resources and lax regulation

  • "Diamond Pe _Food Recalled Due to Aflatoxin">1/06/2006 Diamond Pet Food Recalled Due to Aflatoxin & update 5/10/2006

Menu Foods Recalling Dog and Cat Food

By ANDREW BRIDGES, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 16, 6:49 PM ET


WASHINGTON - A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, 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 Dec. 3 and March 6 throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Company, 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.

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, Kan., and Pennsauken, N.J., 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.

Menu Foods Press Release

March 16, 2007
Menu Foods Income Fund Announces Precautionary Dog and Cat Food Recall

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2007) -

NOT FOR RELEASE OVER US NEWSWIRE SERVICES

Attention Business/Financial Editors

Menu Foods Income Fund (the "Fund") (TSX:MEW.UN) today announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall is limited to "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches
manufactured at two of the Fund's United States facilities. These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands.

Over the past several days, the Fund has received feedback in the United States (none in Canada) raising concerns about pet food manufactured since early December, and its impact on the renal health of the pets consuming the products. Shortly after receipt of the first complaint, the Fund initiated a substantial battery of technical tests, conducted by both internal and external specialists, but has failed to identify any issues with the products in question. The Fund has, however, discovered that timing of the production associated with these complaints, coincides with the introduction of an ingredient from a new supplier. The Fund stopped using this ingredient shortly after this discovery and production since then has been undertaken using ingredients from another source.

At the same time, the Fund's largest customer, for which it manufactures on a contract basis, received a small number of consumer complaints and has initiated its own recall. Furthermore, for the time being, the customer has put future orders for cuts and gravy products on hold. This customer's cuts and gravy purchases in 2006 represented approximately 11% of the Fund's annual revenue. "We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution" said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. "We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our products maintain the very highest quality standards."

While the number of complaints has been relatively small, Menu is taking this proactive step out of an abundance of caution, because the health and well-being of pets is paramount to the Fund.

In addition to changing suppliers, for production after March 6, the Fund has increased testing of all raw materials and finished goods. It is also working closely with regulatory authorities and its customers to learn more and will take whatever additional actions are appropriate. The Fund estimates that based on currently available information, this recall could cost between $30 million and $40 million, which will be financed from a combination of internally generated cash flow and bank credit facilities. Furthermore, the Fund is aggressively producing product, utilizing a different supplier for the ingredient in question, to replenish customers as quickly as possible.

In order to determine whether cat and dog food in their possession is subject to recall, consumers should refer to the list of brand names ("listed products") at www.menufoods.com/recall . This will be available by 6 a.m. Saturday March 17, 2007. Products not identified on the website can continue to be used.

Menu is the leading North American private-label/contract manufacturer of wet pet food products sold by supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers, pet specialty retailers and other retail and wholesale outlets. In 2006, the Fund produced more than one billion containers.


CONTACT INFORMATION
Menu Foods Income Fund
Media and Investor Relations
Sarah Tuite
(416) 848-1703
or
Menu Foods Income Fund
Consumers
1-866-895-2708
Website: www.menufoods.com

 

Rat poison in pet food blamed for 17 deaths

How toxic pesticide got in food remains mystery

 Associated Press

Updated: 8:54 p.m. ET March 23, 2007

ALBANY, N.Y. - Rat poison was found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 17 cats and dogs, but scientists said Friday they still don’t know how it got there and predicted more animal deaths would be linked to it.

After the announcement, the company that produced the food expanded its recall to include all 95 brands of the “cuts and gravy” style food, regardless of when they were produced. The company also said it would take responsibility for pet medical expenses incurred as a result of the food.

The substance in the food was identified as aminopterin, a cancer drug that once was used to induce abortions in the United States and is still used to kill rats in some other countries, state Agriculture

The federal government prohibits using aminopterin for killing rodents in the U.S. State officials would not speculate on how the poison got into the pet food, but said no criminal investigations had been launched.

The pet deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. Some pets that ate the recalled brands suffered kidney failure, and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and two dogs.

Latest death
The latest death, a Yorkshire terrier named Pebbles, occurred Thursday. The dog died of kidney failure after eating some of the food. Her owner, Jeff Kerner, said he was contacting an attorney because he wanted to prevent another pet tragedy.

“Before they put this stuff in the bags, there should be some kind of test,” said Kerner, of Sherman Oaks, Calif. “I can’t just let it go. Even if they just change the law.”

The company expanded the recall — which initially covered only cans and pouches of food packaged from Dec. 3 through March 6 — after the FDA alerted it that some products remained on store shelves.

There is no risk to pet owners from handling the food, officials said.

The Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation into the pet deaths was focused on wheat gluten in the food. The gluten itself would not cause kidney failure, but it could have been contaminated, the FDA said.

Paul Henderson, chief executive of Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods, confirmed Friday that the wheat gluten was purchased from China.

Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said it would be unusual for the wheat to be tainted.

“It would make no sense to spray a crop itself with rodenticide,” Rosenberg said, adding that grain shippers typically put bait stations around the perimeter of their storage facilities.

Scientists at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University and at the New York State Food Laboratory tested three cat food samples provided by the manufacturer and found aminopterin in two of them. The two labs are part of a network created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation’s animals and food supply safe.

“Any amount of this product is too much in food,” Hooker said.

 

Aminopterin is highly toxic in high doses. It inhibits the growth of malignant cells and suppresses the immune system. In dogs and cats, the amount of aminopterin found — 40 parts per million — can cause kidney failure, according to Bruce Akey, director of Cornell’s diagnostic center.

“It’s there in substantial amounts,” Akey said.

Donald Smith, dean of Cornell’s veterinary school, said he expected the number of pet deaths to increase. “Based on what we’ve heard the last couple days, 16 is a low number,” Smith said.

Aminopterin is no longer marketed as a cancer drug, but is still used in research, said Andre Rosowsky, a chemist with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Rosowsky speculated that the substance would not show up in pet food “unless somebody put it there.”

Henderson said Menu Foods does not believe the food was tampered with because the recalled food came from two different plants, one in Kansas, one in New Jersey. Menu continues to produce food at the two plants.


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