Recall of Pet Foods Manufactured by Menu Foods, Inc.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been informed that Menu Foods, Inc., a private-label pet food manufacturer based in Streetsville, Ontario, Canada, is recalling all its "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food produced at its facility in Emporia, Kansas between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The products are sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The recall was prompted by consumer complaints received by the manufacturer and by tasting trials conducted by the manufacturer. There has been a small number of reported instances of cats and dogs in the United States that developed kidney failure after eating the affected product. To date, Menu Foods, Inc. has reported 14 animal deaths to the FDA. Nine cats died during routine taste trials conducted by the company. Consumers reported deaths of four cats and one dog. The firm has undertaken extensive testing of the pet food products in question, but to date has been unable to find the source of the problem.
The products are packaged in cans and pouches under numerous brand names and are marketed nationwide by many pet food retailers including Ahold USA Inc., Kroger Company, Safeway, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., PetSmart, Inc., and Pet Valu, Inc.
Menu Foods, Inc. has identified the potentially contaminated products on the Internet at www.menufoods.com/recall. Consumers who have any of these products should immediately stop feeding them to their pets. Dogs or cats who have consumed the suspect feed and show signs of kidney failure (such as loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting) should consult with their veterinarian. Menu Foods, Inc. is notifying retailers by telephone and mail and is arranging for the return of all recalled products.
FDA is conducting an investigation and working with Menu Foods, Inc. to ensure the effectiveness of the recall. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-866-895-2708. Consumers who wish to report adverse actions or other problems can go to http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html to contact the FDA complaint coordinator in their state.
Since the recall was announced Friday, Menu Foods products have been linked to the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, and there have been scores of other suspicious deaths of pets, according to The Associated Press.
The animal deaths have led to the recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food sold throughout North America under 95 brand names by retailers that include Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Aldis and Schnucks. Private brand labels include Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.
Paul Henderson, chief executive and president of Menu Foods, based in Canada, told the AP on Wednesday that the company still can't explain why some cats and dogs that ate the company's "cuts and gravy"-style wet food developed kidney failure and died.
He said the company was looking at a single ingredient. He wouldn't identify it, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation was focused on wheat gluten.
"Our hypothesis is that it is that ingredient that in fact represents the highest probability as to the cause," Henderson said. "But we have been unable to prove that through scientific information.
"This is a puzzling and troubling experience for everybody within this organization," he said. "Our hearts go out to all of the pet owners across Canada, the United States and Mexico for any losses they experience and certainly for the worry this incident may be causing."
A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and dates of production can be found on the Web site for Menu Foods: www.menufoods.com/recall. The company also has designated two phone numbers that pet owners can call for information: (866) 463-6738 and (866) 895-2708.