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Off-topic News: Massive Pet Food Recall

Posted in Technology, We Welcome Our Feline Overlord by engtech on March 20, 2007

This has nothing to do with tech but everything to do with the fact I use my pet as my mascot.

93 brands: The pet-food manufacturer Menu Foods was not a household name until it announced a massive recall Friday, but many of the brand names it was sold under would be familiar to any pet owner. At first unable to tell the extent of the possible problems, officials with Menu Foods later posted on its website a list of scores of affected brands of dog and cat food. The company has recalled specific products from 51 brands of dog food and 42 brands of cat food.

It’s for dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007 — “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and pouches. Complete list of cat products listed here and complete list of dog food products listed here. The pet food can lead to kidney failure which has symptoms of your pet becoming lethargic, stops eating and starts drinking lots of water.

Cat food brands affected (42): Americas Choice, Preferred Pets, Authority, Best Choice, Companion, Compliments, Demoulas Market Basket, Eukanuba, Fine Feline Cat, Food Lion, Foodtown, Giant Companion, Hannaford, Hill Country Fare, Hy-Vee, Iams, Laura Lynn, Li’l Red, Loving Meals, Meijer’s Main Choice, Nutriplan, Nutro Max Gourmet Classics, Nutro Natural Choice, Paws, Pet Pride, Presidents Choice, Price Chopper, Priority US, Save-A-Lot, Schnucks, Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans, Sophistacat, Special Kitty Canada, Special Kitty US, Springfield Prize, Sprout, Stop & Shop Companion, Tops Companion, Wegmans, Weis Total Pet, Western Family US, White Rose, Winn Dixie.

Dog food brands affected (52): Americas Choice, Preferred Pets, Authority, Award, Best Choice, Big Bet, Big Red, Bloom, Wegmans Bruiser, Cadillac, Companion, Demoulas Market Basket, Eukanuba, Food Lion, Giant Companion, Great Choice, Hannaford, Hill Country Fare, Hy-Vee, Iams, Laura Lynn, Loving Meals, Meijers Main Choice, Mighty Dog Pouch, Mixables, Nutriplan, Nutro Max, Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Ultra, Nutro, Ol’Roy Canada, Ol’Roy US, Paws, Pet Essentials, Pet Pride – Good n Meaty, Presidents Choice, Price Chopper, Priority Canada, Priority US, Publix, Roche Brothers, Save-A-Lot, Schnucks, Shep Dog, Springsfield Prize, Sprout, Stater Brothers, Stop & Shop Companion, Tops Companion, Weis Total Pet, Western Family US, White Rose, Winn Dixie, Your Pet

It’s scary how many different pet food brands use the same source for base ingredients.

36 Responses

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  1. engtech said, on March 21, 2007 at 12:10 am

    I’ve been thinking about getting a new domain name, and hungrykitty.com is available.

  2. rob said, on March 21, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Robert Abady, the founder of Abady Pet Foods, has been warning about
    the dangers of feeding your pet large scale commercial pet food for
    years. Take a look at his website
    He has been a voice in the wilderness. I read his literature, bought
    into his ideas, and have been feeding my lab Abady dog food since he’s
    a pup. He’s now 13, which is old for a lab, and still a happy healthy
    old boy..slowed down by age but not by disease. Anyone concerned about
    the food they’re giving to their pet ought to look into Abady.

  3. Brent said, on March 21, 2007 at 4:26 am

    I feed my dog dry food. As far as I’m aware, this is an issue with canned food, correct?

    My dog has always eaten dry Iams, and is healthy and happy as can be.

  4. raincoaster said, on March 21, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    There can be an issue with high ash content in dry foods; check the label to be sure you’ve got low ash. High ash is associated with kidney failure as well, although it takes years to bring it on. Iams is, I’ve heard, good food (and I used to work for an obssessive dog health food company).

  5. max said, on March 21, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Large commercial brands are problematic. Numerous commmercial brand companies purchase their product from the same source, the only thing really separating them is often marketing and the color of the label. And. Wet or dry. Read the label. And be aware “by products” on pet food labels generally refers to “DDD” classified meat [disabled, diseased, and dying], which has been deemed unfit for human consumption. This classification often includes entrails and often also includes feces scraped off of slaughterhouse floors. It also, in some brands, includes euthanized dogs and cats. Which aside from being extremely gross, means it is laced with barbituates and euthanasia drugs.

    An informative [and not all that hard hitting but it does at least attempt to illuminate] article on pet food is “What’s Really in Pet Food? A Report by the Animal Protection Institute”:


    Eng I am really glad to see you posting this. Your site gets enough traffic, you posting this should make this information move. And that is immediately important.

    It is also important to note, while news sources are referring to only ten animals dying, depending on the news source? A woman recently receiving a call back from the FDA was told over a thousand animal death reports have come in so far. These are reports from pet owners who know the food was the actual factor of death. That number does not include pet deaths not reported because owners are unaware contaminated pet food was the cause. Current news reports only listing 10 animal deaths are based on a Menu Foods press release about a February lab study in which 50 animals were fed the contaminated food, and in which 10 of them died. That is a 20% mortality rate for animals fed the food during a much shorter duration than it has been on shelves.

    Please check pet food for dates and lot numbers. Please keep checking the lists of brands effected because those lists are expanding daily. Also be aware, by the time a cat starts exhibiting symptoms of renal failure? That cat is down to about 30% kidney function and kidneys do not regenerate like livers, if a cat is down to 30% kidney function that cat is not coming back so, if your animal has eaten any of the contaminated food? It is important, symptoms or not, to get a blood work up to check for kidney damage. Hugely important because, if you do not catch this before it reaches a stage where symptoms appear? Your only options are regularly administered subcutaceous saline solution [that means shots], or euthanasia.

    It is not a good death. I have seen it.

    Please check your pet food and animal out.

  6. Brent said, on March 21, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    @raincoaster: I know that Iams is very good quality. While in college, I worked at a PetSmart pet store. Yeah, that was fun.


  8. engtech said, on March 21, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    From the releases I’ve seen it looks like wet food “cuts and gravy” styled in cans or foil pouches.

    I *really* wish they would list product names instead of just brands, but it looks like the individual companies are starting to do that themselves.

    Iams has a list of the product codes here: http://us.iams.com/iams/global/Product_Recall.htm

  9. max said, on March 21, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Animals were dying in January. After wondering whether they could stick it out, Menu decided to do a test in February and instead of just checking food for toxins, fed 50 plus animals the food to see if the animals would drop dead. The animals did drop dead, and dropped dead fast enough, Menu started moving to do damage control, understanding the number of animals the company was in the process of killing was so huge, it could not be covered or outweigh any balance sheet against just making quiet little settlements with the only people who actually figured out it was the food. You guys do get, this is the entire north american continent, three countries, and about a hundred internationally recognized dog food labels we are talking about here? That are killing pets? Right now?

    One of the most insidious things about renal failure is the time it takes for symptoms to actually appear. This is an illness that, once symptoms appear, is so far gone, most animals succumb to it, and the few that do not require daily under the skin shots of saline fluid to stay alive.

    How many people want to give a cat daily or weekly under the skin saline injections? How many can? These are not quick shots either. They are slow shots. You have to let the fluid go in slowly, to build a pocket under the skin.

    How many cats would even consider that acceptable?

  10. Lord Chatterly said, on March 22, 2007 at 6:49 am

    MenuFoods also makes cat food under other labels, e.g. Truly at Zellers. I contacted Zellers Customer Service who initially neglected to mention this until I Spcifically: Who manufactures your Truly brand. The response was: MenuFoods but Truly is not involved in the recall.

    What puzzles me is: if they have not yet identified the cause, then how do they know which brands and batches to recall?

  11. max said, on March 22, 2007 at 9:03 am

    The body count.

  12. A.J. Valliant said, on March 22, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    My cat eats absurd amounts of random food, dust bunnies, and the occasional handfull of change. Despite this, and her 300lb girth, she’s almost 13 and still won’t die. Where can I get some of this tainted cat food?

  13. Mellisa said, on March 28, 2007 at 3:34 am

    My dog has just passed away from liver failure and the vet has said that he has had 2 dogs in the past week with the same problems just dieing of liver failure and my doughters dog is now having all the same problems as my dog did, my point is all we feed them is pedegree so i think they wont own up to their mistakes like the other places already have!

  14. max said, on March 28, 2007 at 3:59 am

    I am so sorry Melissa.

  15. Brent said, on March 28, 2007 at 4:47 am

    Damn, that sucks Mellisa. I’m sorry to hear this. Please tell me you plan to sue. I know that I would if my beloved canine friend died from this.

  16. Patricia McCULLEN said, on March 30, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Hi,My dog is a 13yr.old cocker spanial and he eats pedigree chunks with sauce and table food every day.This past week he limps a lot now his back legs are caving in.we have to lift him down the stairs.Could this be his food or his age…Pat

  17. max said, on March 30, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    That sounds like his hip joints try giving him glucosomine chondrioten that often helps and take him in to the vet who may prescribe rimadyl if it is the hips.

  18. max said, on March 30, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Sorry, chondroiten, it is early for me the fingers do not want to type yet.

  19. Dre said, on April 02, 2007 at 1:56 am

    I have a question regarding the tainted food. I have two cats that have had 2 or 3 of the brands listed on the recall list. However, what I have left in the cabinets didn’t match the lot, dates or recall numbers they have listed. I have no idea what they were feed previous to this mass recall. I’ve heard that they are now looking at batches that were sold in Janurary, is this true? How am I to know if they ate a bad batch back in January? What are the symptoms and if they ate some of the bad stuff in Jan wouldn’t they have shown syptoms by now?


  20. max said, on April 02, 2007 at 2:06 am

    Symptoms of kidney failure in cats include

    • Increased water intake
    • Increased volumes of urination
    • Unwillingness to eat
    • Vomiting
    • Lethargy
    • Eating litter

    However. Cats generally do not show symptoms of kidney failure until they have lost 70 to 75% of kidney function. By the time a cat is down to only 25% kidney function, it is often too late to save the cat. It is very important, if the cats have eaten the bad food, to take the cats to a vet and get a blood test done to check creatinine levels in the blood stream. Increased counts of creatinine indicate the kidneys are losing functionality and not filtering toxins properly from the blood stream. Based on the count that comes back, a vet will know what to do as far as treatment goes, or whether the cats have experienced any function loss.

    This is very important. Because you won’t know the cat is sick until the cat is very very sick.

  21. AJ said, on April 04, 2007 at 8:14 am

    I also have fed my dog pedigree chuck gravy pouches and he is limping and wont use back leg exact same symptom as above there has to be a link

  22. engtech said, on April 04, 2007 at 9:51 am

    @AJ: You should see a vet and get a proper diagnosis.

    I’m sorry :(

    I know how this feels.

  23. judy said, on April 04, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    My Baby Tom is dieing and I am so sad, depressed, and guilt ridden. Tom ate Pet Pride, the other cats got a little sick but Tom was hit hard, I keep crying and don’t want him to die because these people don’t test ingredients in a lab to make sure it doesn’t have mold or other toxins on the wheat. If I had a company I would test all of the wheat for toxins. I am sick with grief; I keep talking to Tom telling him how much I love him, and asking him please get well and not to leave me. I was never able to have children so my pets are my kids, I do not hold back on my love for them. I hope they get sued out of business. Tom has not stopped left his bed for three days, he jst keeps sleeping. My heart is broken because I fed him poison, if only I wouldn’t have fed him Pet Pride. That is why I am overwhelmed with guilt. When I heard that instead of sending the food to a lab to test for toxins, they instead fed 8 innocent animals the poisonous food and 3 of them died right away. If they love animals like the commercial state, why would they test on animals, killing them, instead of sending the bad food to a lab for accurate testing, and the 3 innocent animals they tested on would still be alive.

  24. Kathy said, on April 08, 2007 at 12:50 am

    I think the fact that the pet food companies are downplaying the fact that LIVER FAILURE not just kidney failure is a part of this mess is just criminal. There are quite a few of us that are trying to manage with animals in Liver Failure due to eating the same bad pet food. Its easy to see why they are doing it, cats with kidney failure might be able to recover, once the Liver goes.. well lets just say sad doesnt even cover it.. the death toll once known will be way higher than they want to report.

    Menu food’s rep told me personally that Liver failure is not part of this and will not be recognized as connected to this whole bad pet food thing. However the sweet lady I talked to at the FDA told me I was not the only one reporting liver failure in an animal, that there were many of us. Half admissions on their part is considered a lie by me and I am completely and utterly boycotting menu foods and any company that is still using their products. I may not be able to effect this monster company personally but certainly if enough of us “speak with our money” and boycott any and all companies that use menu foods products then I think they will get the message loud and clear.

    Im not suing, I dont care about money, yes the vet bills hurt but it would have been nice if waaaaay back in January when my pet got sick if they would have listened and recalled then there might not be as many of us in this situation. I think that is just criminal on their part.

    My heart goes out to all of you in this situation..Im there living it everyday so I know how hard it can be. And honestly I didnt think of myself as radical before this but now all i can say is Boycott menu foods and any company that uses their products.. send them a clear message and be vocal..one voice may be lost in a crowd, but a crowd of voices will be heard!

  25. donna said, on April 08, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    i am confused as to whether nutro natural choice lamb and rice dry dog food is on the list……and whether pedigree ‘cuts’ in a can is on the list?

  26. Chris said, on April 11, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I wasn’t aware that Truly brand cat food was made by Menu Foods (I actually work for Zellers, but in another department). Other Canadian store brands, such as President’s Choice WERE mentioned, as well as several lesser known brands, so I assume that if Truly was on the recalled list, it would be listed as well. I do know that Menu Foods has multiple production facilities, and makes dozens of brands from various sources, so I can’t imagine they would ALL be affected by this tainted wheat gluten. Also, from my own experience, when Zellers faces a recall, they have been very good at pulling the product immediately. In the meantime, my cat will be treated to Fancy Feast…

  27. […] Engtech says, “It’s scary how many different pet food brands use the same source for base ingredients.” […]

  28. […] Engtech says, “It’s scary how many different pet food brands use the same source for base ingredients.” […]

  29. Michelle said, on April 16, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    I have a question regarding the chicken and rice presidents choice dog food. Is there any bad ingredients in it? Please let me know if there is any bad ingredients in it.
    Very important I am feed my dog the chicken and rice presidents choice dog food.

  30. engtech said, on April 17, 2007 at 1:56 am

    If anyone is looking for specific information about a particular brand then *please* contact that company directly by their 1-800 number.

    Asking questions like this on blogs/websites may only lead to misinformation.

  31. Heather S said, on April 18, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Kathy and Melissa-please read my post, I am having similar issues with my dog for sudden Kidney & Liver failure.

    My dog has been eating mighty dog food for years. He has never been sick a day in his life. A month ago (right after the recall), he began drinking alot of water and having acccidents in the house, even in his sleep. Hearing of the recall I took him to the vet immediately where I was told he was in kidney failure (high Bun and creatine readings- also small traces of blood). We put him on a low protein diet and went back for more blood work 10 days later to see if the diet was helping. This time not only did the blood work come out with Kidney failure, but now he also has liver failure. Another week later more blood work and the liver readings are becoming even higher. He is currently being treated with low protein diet (which he hates) and liver pills. We have also ruled out all diseases (at least that the vet can think of to test for). I am being told that since he didn’t show crystals in the urine that this isn’t from the food and that there aren’t any liver problems being reported along with kidney failure. I’ve been searching the internet and see a few people out there have pets showing the same or similary syptoms. Also the ASPCA web site is still advising they don’t have a definate cause for the food tainting. My questions to anyone out there who’s pet is going through this, did you urine alaysis show crystals and is anyone’s pet also experiencing liver difficutlty along with the kidney failure. Best of luck to all the pet owners out there and my deepest sympathy to anyone who’s lost a pet or going through this.

  32. Elaine said, on April 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Recalled foods list up-to-date as of April 17, 2007: http://www.elainevigneault.com/2007/04/18/the-pet-food-recall-list-keeps-expanding.html

    The list is expanding EVERY DAY!

  33. RUFchick said, on April 22, 2007 at 7:31 am

    I would like to know if there are cats out there who have come down with a “fatty liver” and have been eating Hill’s Science Diet Z/D cat food. This is the dry kibble Z/D. Rice protein concentrate has just been added to the ingredients involved in the pet food recalls and this is the first ingredient listed in the ingredient list on the package. Our two year old cat was diagnosed w/ a fatty liver a month ago although she has probably has the condition for awhile; our vet bill is currently over $2000 (yes, that is 2 THOUSAND) and climbing (she will not be out of the woods for a couple more months. Meanwhile, our cat has to be fed via a tube inserted in her esophagus that goes into the stomach. She has been one sick kitty and almost died!! Thanks!

  34. Ginger said, on April 22, 2007 at 10:29 am

    I had to put my precious beagle, Shiley, to sleep last Monday because of liver failure. My vet assured me that it was not related to the pet food recall because her kidneys were fine. After reading other stories of liver failure I am starting to wonder. She always ate Purina One dry food, but I gave her 2 cans of HyVee wet food early this year because she was getting older and wasn’t chewing the dry as good. She was always so active and playful, but from that day forward she started showing signs of sickness with vomiting and diarrhea. When I took her to the vet her liver enzymes were extremely elevated. She was sent home with liver supplements and I tried so hard to keep her alive, but there came a point I could tell she was in a lot of pain and past the point of recovery. I truely believe that if I would have just keep giving her the dry food she would be with me today. Judy, I know the guilt you are feeling. I hope and pray that Tom pulls through. I am so sorry.

  35. Sharla Hanson said, on April 27, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Yes! My dog got very sick after eating the food and I took her in the vet, not having a clue as to what was wrong with her. She was extremely lethargic and vomiting/diareah. Her tests also did not show crystals in the urine, but her liver readings were very high. I know this also has something to do with the food. I submitted my claim to Nutro’s insurance company, and will be interested to see what the come up with. I’ll bet they don’t pay her bills because of the liver problem, not kidney. Obviously, there is something in the food that can affect the liver. After being off that food for a week and taking some medications, her readings went back to normal. It would be nice if all who are involved with liver problems make it a point to let them know that this should also be included in the symptoms. I believe my dog most likely ate only enough of that tainted food to get very ill, but not enough yet to incur the kidney disease. Anyone please feel free and email me at SDollar160@aol.com if you can add yourself to this list.

  36. evelyn said, on May 19, 2007 at 3:47 am

    The most current up to date recall list is actually http://www.humanesociety.org/petfoodsafety. I found this site after my 6 year old healthy cat died from eating either eukenuba and or blue buffalo spa dry cat food. I was switching from eukenuba dry(after not trusting this) to Blue buffalo dry (which at the time was not on the list). I’ve still got one cat and am feeding canidae fleidea now (organic). Please do not trust any of the companies they are not going to be honest nor the vets. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!!!

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