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mattel.jpgYesterday Mattel announced it’s THIRD recall in just over one month (8/2/07: Fisher-Price Recall Notice (Lead Poisoning)/Links to info/China involved AGAIN!, 8/14/07:Another Mattel recall: lead paint and powerful, loose magnets) due to “violation of lead paint standard”. The whole recall/China/lead scenario kind of makes you want to get back to having the kids play with your empty cardboard boxes and creating parades with pots and lids as musical instruments, eh?

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Added 9/6/07: Here’s the video clip I mention in my comment (3rd one below). Quite telling in regard to how the bottom line ($$$) is ALWAYS going to outweigh health and safety…sigh.

Phew! Just finished spending a good deal of time revamping and updating the Pet Products Recall page (changed the name from Pet Food Recall info/posts page since I decided to include ALL pet-related recalls, such as the salmonella-related recalls, not just the ones related to the pet food chaos), so give it a gander and let me know if there’s anything I need to change and/or add. Thanks! Too pooped out now to do a regular post, but did want to at least post some interesting news articles and links I have run across today.

Melamine and hogs/Intentional poisoning of products?:

US Wheat Industry assurances:

Homemade diets for pets? Pro and Con:

FDA:

While revamping and updating information on the Pet Product Recalls page, I found this 4/16/07 Consumer Health Information update titled “FDA’s Ongoing Pet Food Investigation”, which I hadn’t seen before. Also wanted to post the FDA’s search engine for recalled foods , but I would HIGHLY recommend continuing to check the web sites of individual companies or here. At least the FDA site is another tool for those interested in finding out the most information possible. I think we have all discovered that you cannot depend on just one media source, blog, or government agency to give you all the information you need, since it is always changing. While there are some fantastic sites and resources available, there just isn’t really one media outlet alone that has been able to keep up on EVERY bit of info that surfaces. That being said, I will still stick to my claim that the blogging community has been the primary source for the most updated information getting out to concerned lovers of pets in quick and effective fashion.

Probably won’t post tomorrow (unless some news breaks), so have a GREAT weekend, everyone! 🙂

Here we go again with ANOTHER alert of pet items being contaminated with salmonella. The first salmonella-related recall noted here was with Petrapport’s, Berkley & Jensen pig ear dog treats.

On April 5th the FDA issued this “health hazard alert” about American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews manufactured by T.W. Enterprises. So today I get ANOTHER notice from the FDA regarding T. W. Enterprises, and I naturally assume it is regarding another product T. W. Enterprises manufactures since on April 5th we were already warned about the American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews. When I checked the information from the “health hazard alert” of 4/5 and compared it to the information from today’s (emailed 4/17, dated 4/16) “nationwide recall” notice, the items mentioned are the same! In looking closely at the “health hazard alert” from 4/5 I found this at the end, “FDA is actively investigating this matter to determine the source of this problem, and will issue future updates as appropriate.” So I guess that means the 4/5 notice was indeed JUST A WARNING, but today’s “nationwide recall” is indeed a RECALL of the product? Sorry, but based on the information in the 4/5 notice I would have assumed the FDA was telling consumers to STOP using the product. So now, twelve days later, the FDA is deciding indeed the American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews ARE a safety issue? Gee, and the FDA wonders why Senator Durbin was so pointed in his remarks during the Senate oversight hearing on 4/12/07 regarding pet food contamination, stating that the FDA’s web site is VERY confusing to consumers? Even Dr. Sundlof (FDA) was forced to agree.

I’m a fairly intelligent gal, but these two notices from the FDA regarding T.W. Enterprises American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews are rather confusing. One would think the initial notice WAS a recall, but apparently it was an official FDA “health hazard alert”, whereas the 4/16 notice from the FDA was not something “officially” from the FDA, but instead them posting a recall notice from a company as a service to consumers. Let’s certainly hope that any consumers that either read the FDA “health hazard alert” notice on 4/5 or heard about it, DID indeed stop using the product since there have now been twelve days in between where pets might have been given the chews by unsuspecting owners. Also, in today’s “recall notice” I see that there are code numbers next to the recalled items, despite both notices from the FDA stating that T.W. Enterprises does not code products with batch or lot numbers. What is it going to take for regulations from manufacturing levels to the higher levels of our government to FINALLY be in place and protecting us (and our pets) as they should be?

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Recall Notice” mailed from FDA today 4/17, but dated 4/16:

T.W. Enterprises Issues Nationwide Recall of Dog Chews Due to Salmonella Contamination

Contact:
T.W. Enterprises
(360) 366-0408

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Ferndale, WA — April 16, 2007 — T.W. Enterprises of Ferndale, WA today alerted consumers that it is recalling certain dog chews it markets because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Samples tested by FDA of the product indicate that the dog chew products manufactured by T.W. Enterprises may be contaminated. People handling these treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Salmonella can potentially be transferred to people handling these pet treats, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The following is a list of the recalled products (Product Name/ A.B. Dog Chew – Size / UPC):

  • A.B. Small Chew, 3 – 4 inch / 833234001105
  • A. B. Puppy Chew, 4 – 6 inch / 83323401112
  • A.B. Dog Chew Medium, 6 inch / 833234001051
  • A.B. Dog Chew Large, 10 inch / 833234001068
  • A. B. Dog Chew XL, 13 inch / 833234001075
  • A. B. Dog Chew Mega, 16 inch / 833234001082
  • A. B. Dog Chew Jumbo, 26 inch / 833234001099

T.W. Enterprises Inc. manufactured these dog chews and distributed them throughout the United States under its name. The affected products were distributed before March 22, 2007 to retail locations and are non-coded, i.e. they have no batch code or other identifying marks. T.W. Enterprises has made contact with all of its consignees and has been informed the affected product has been pulled from store shelves.

T.W. Enterprises has informed FDA of its action and is fully cooperating with the agency. The firm, FDA and other authorities are actively investigating this matter to determine the source of this problem, and will take any additional steps necessary to protect the public health. No reports of illness to date in connection with this problem.

Consumers who have the non-coded pet chews should not feed them to their pets, but should dispose of them in a safe manner (e.g., in a securely covered trash receptacle). Anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection after having handled one of these pet products should seek medical attention, and report their use of the product and illness to the nearest FDA office.

People should thoroughly wash their hands after handling any pet treat – especially those made from animal protein such as meat — to help prevent infection. People may risk bacterial infection not only by handling the chews, but by contact with pets or surfaces exposed to the chews, so it is important that they thoroughly wash their hands with hot water and soap.

Since elderly people, young children, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from exposure they should avoid handling these products.

Consumers with questions may contact T.W. Enterprises at 1-360-366-0408.

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Health Hazard Alert” from FDA on 4/5:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P07-58
April 5, 2007

Media Inquiries:
301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

FDA Issues Health Hazard Alert for Pet Chews Due to Contamination with Salmonella

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today warned consumers not to use American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews manufactured and distributed by T.W. Enterprises, Ferndale, WA, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination, in people, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Consumers who have the pet treats manufactured or distributed by T.W. Enterprises listed below should not feed them to their pets, but instead dispose of them in a safe manner (e.g., in a securely covered trash receptacle).

Salmonella can potentially be transferred to people handling these pet treats, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The products covered by this alert include all sizes and lots of:

American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chew and Dog Chew (made from all American beef pizzle)

Following is a list of the affected products:

  • A.B. Small Chew, small, 3-4 inch
  • A.B. Puppy Chew, 4-6 inch
  • A.B. Dog Chew Medium, 6 inch
  • A.B. Dog Chew Large, 10 inch
  • A.B. Dog Chew XL, 13 inch
  • A.B. Dog Chew Mega, 16 inch
  • A.B. Dog Chew Jumbo, 26 inch

FDA collected samples of packages of three different sizes of bull pizzle (beef) dog chews manufactured by T.W. Enterprises and, after analysis, found Salmonella in one of them. FDA is including in its alert all sizes and all lots of bull pizzle chews manufactured by T. W. Enterprises because pizzles used in manufacturing the chews are processed at the same time, cut into chews of the desired sizes, and then packaged for sale. Differently sized chews are thus obtained from the same batch or lot of pizzles and manufactured under conditions that facilitate cross-contamination within batches or lots. It is impossible to differentiate chews manufactured by T. W. Enterprises by lot or batch numbers or dates of manufacture because packages of the firm’s chews are not coded with batch or lot numbers, and do not specify the dates of manufacture or bear expiration dates.

FDA is actively investigating this matter to determine the source of this problem, and will issue future updates as appropriate.

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Sometimes you just do NOT want to be right about something, and many of us did NOT want to be right about the list of recalled items expanding over time, nor did we want to be right about the tainted wheat gluten making it into human food processing plants. Yet here we are with yet ANOTHER recall notice from the FDA today, added to the alarming report this week from the Boston Globe.

The recall today affects another branded and private-label pet food manufacturer, Sunshine Mills Inc., and includes: Nurture Chicken & Rice, Nurture Lamb & Rice, Pet Life Large, Pet Life Extra Large, Pet Life Large Variety, Pet Life Large Peanut Butter, Lassie Lamb and Rice (AKA Natural Way Dog Biscuits baked with Lamb & Rice), Pet Life People Pleasers Dog Treats, Companion’s Best Multi Flavor Biscuit, Stater Brothers Large Biscuit, Ol’Roy Peanut Butter Biscuit, Ol’Roy 4 Flavor Large Biscuit, Ol’Roy Puppy Biscuit, Champion Breed Peanut Butter Biscuit, Champion Breed Large Biscuit, Perfect Pals Large Biscuit, Stater Brothers Large Biscuit. I will add the code information with other recalled pet food information on the Pet food recall info/posts page.

I noticed the FDA has revamped their Pet Food Recall page, which is a sad sign to me that this situation is going to be with us for some time. I also found this Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts page, which I hadn’t seen before. Oh, and can I just vent for a moment and ask all the affected companies and the FDA to STOP SAYING that other products are safe and we do not need to worry! Kind of hard for us to buy into that idea since practically every other day we’re getting news of more items being recalled. Just tell us, once and for all, the names of all companies which received the tainted wheat gluten so WE, the consumers, can make our own decisions about what is and isn’t safe. Simple request, in my opinion.

***Just got another recall notice (American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chew and Dog Chew [made from all American beef pizzle]) from the FDA in my mail, but this is another SALMONELLA-related one (not Menu Foods-related), similar to this one from 3/25.***

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POSTS for 3/17-8/22:

  • 3/18/07: Science Diet has added some of their foods to the voluntary recall list. Pets HAVE died and others are suffering severe health problems, so PLEASE check this new list AND the ones I listed above. Thank you! Science Diet Recall (On 3/30/07 Science Diet recalled feline m/d)
  • 3/18/07 10:15PM PST: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is even posting information which shows just how far-reaching this has become. They even have a web page with information on how to register adverse reactions/consumer complaints. I appreciate that so many of you are reading as much as you can about this and staying on top of the situation. What wonderful owners your pets have! 🙂 And PLEASE continue to spread the information to AS MANY folks as you can, and have THEM stay on top of it as well. I’ll definitely continue to add information as I find out about it.
  • 3/19/07 11:10 AM PST: Looks like Menu Foods has another press release, which interestingly enough says it’s not for US newswire services, whatever THAT really means. It’s in PDF format and can be accessed from their main recall page.
  • 3/20/07 11:20 AM PST: It is disconcerting to hear that in February, Menu Foods apparently was notified of the problems with pets eating certain Menu Foods produced food, did their own testing in which approximately 17% of the tested pets died, yet it wasn’t until March 16th that the recall was announced?!?! I am obviously no expert on how these things work, but it sure seems to me that the motto of “better safe than sorry” should have been in place LONG BEFORE March 16th! Menu Foods recall notice states:

“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.”

Seems to me that “acting to err on the side of caution” would have meant alerting consumers about the problems MUCH sooner than they did. According to news reports, Menu Foods was alerted by pet owners about deaths and renal failure on February 20th, Menu Foods began their own tests February 27th where between 15%-20% of the pets they tested died, yet the recall was not announced until March 16th, THREE WEEKS AFTER they were first alerted of the deaths and health issues?!?!

I certainly hope to hear SOME type of logical explanation SOON from Menu Foods, but until then all I can assume is that $$$$ (especially since in their initial press release on 3/16/07 they repeatedly mention how much the recall could cost their company) and probable financial loss is what had Menu Foods dragging their feet, while their consumers were unknowingly feeding their beloved pets food which could possibly kill them, if not leave them with painful health issues and enormous veterinary bills which many owners cannot truly afford. I worked in the veterinary field for nearly 7 years and know the high cost of health care for pets, along with having had expensive medical situations with my own pets. But that is what pet owners do, they care for their pets as if they were members of their family, which they are (just four-legged instead of two-legged), and will put themselves into debt just to make sure their pets get the best care possible. Unfortunately there will be pets whose health care costs related to the issues from the tainted food will be too high for some owners to absorb, and they will then have to make the heartbreaking choice to have their beloved pet euthanized.

Come on Menu Foods, let’s get cracking on finding some solutions here. I think everyone understands that “accidents” and “mistakes” do happen in life, which might possibly explain how the food became tainted in the first place, but the part I’m having the hardest time understanding right now is why the recall took so long to be announced to consumers. What do you have to say Menu Foods? You have countless pet owners looking to you for answers.

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Sniffin’ out the info

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