Pet Food Recalls

Pet Food Recalls

Over the past few years, there have been many reports of pet foods and treats being recalled from store shelves. It seems to happen so often these days that some pet owners are even unaware that the food they are feeding has been recalled.

Over the past few years, there have been many reports of pet foods and treats being recalled from store shelves. It seems to happen so often these days that some pet owners are even unaware that the food they are feeding has been recalled.

It is important to know:

  1. Why pet foods/treats are being recalled
  2. How to report a suspected pet food/treat issue
  3. Where to find a list of recalled pet foods/treats

Pet food recalls occur when a manufacturer has removed a product from the market. These recalls are initiated in one of three ways:

  1. The food company voluntarily recalls its food,
  2. The FDA requests a recall
  3. The FDA, under statutory authority, orders the food to be recalled.

The most common reason pet foods and treats are recalled is contamination with bacteria, but can also include defective ingredients, such as the recent melamine tainted foods and jerky treats that were recalled.

When to report:

If you purchase a pet food and the can is swollen or leaking, or if it smells foul or looks off color, you may want to report it. Even if it looks normal, but you believe your pet has become ill from eating the food or treat, you may want to report the food. To report a complaint, go to www.fda.gov or call your local state consumer help line.

Before you make a report, it helps to be prepared with critical information that will help the agency find where the issue has occurred in the food/supply chain. The packaging is critical. It allows the agency to identify the pet food, manufacturing plant, production date, and lot number that is in concern. They will want to know the date and location you purchased it and how was it stored/prepared/handled. Your pet's information will be needed; age, weight, pre-existing medical conditions, medications (including supplements), how much of the food was consumed, the signs you're seeing, how soon after eating they occurred, and your pet’s veterinarian contact information.

Once they receive the report, the FDA will evaluate all the information and determine how serious the problem is and what next steps are needed. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, the FDA will either investigate immediately or will make note of it during the next inspection of the facility responsible for making the particular product in question.

Because pet food recalls happen frequently, visit www.fda.gov and click on the animals and veterinary section to find a complete list of recalled pet foods and treats. If you suspect your pet is ill from ingesting their pet food, call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment for a thorough exam to help rule out other causes of the illness and/or to confirm that the cause of their health issue is indeed the pet food. And remember, "Feed Better. Feel Healthier. Live Longer."

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