The beginning of March brings more updates about the pet food recalls making the rounds on the news lately. In the last month alone, there have been about 25 recalls of pet food or treats. These recalls have not only affected pets whose concerned parents are keeping a wary eye on the products that they are feeding to their pets, but it has also affected animal shelters nationwide. They now have to throw out much needed food for the pets who wait in their facilities for their forever homes.
At the end of February, the J.M. Smucker Company confirmed that there were traces of pentobarbital in their dog foods. Pentobarbital is a chemical sedative used by veterinarians to euthanize animals. Any presence of the chemical, at any level, is illegal and makes any food with traces of the drug not sellable by law. The FDA agreed with the Smuckers Company to issue a, “product recall”. All in all, the voluntary recall has so far involved more than 107 million cans of dog food in several flavors sold under the Gravy Train, Kibbles ’N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy brands.
Next up is Blue Ridge Beef, located in Eatonton, GA. The company recalled one lot of its frozen “Kitten Grind” raw pet food. 2 kitten deaths and consumer complaints were responsible for the recall. One of the kittens was confirmed to have died from Salmonella septicemia. Septicemia, also known as blood poisoning, is an infection of the blood stream. The FDA tests on samples of the kitten food found both Salmonella and Listeria. Any questions can be directed to Blue Ridge Beef at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And yet another recall involves Steve’s Real Food’s Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe. The lot went to 21 states including New York, California, Texas, Florida and Colorado, among others. It was found to have salmonella by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. If you are wondering if your state is one that this lot has been shipped to, you can call Steve’s Real Food at 888-526-1900, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Time.
That’s a lot of food that is now unfit to feed pets, and that’s not even all the recalls. For pet parents who have purchased any of these foods and/or given them to their pets, stop immediately! Whether the dog food has been opened or not, keep it out of pets reach until you can contact the company for information on either returning the product or receiving a rebate. Pentobarbital consumed at low levels can cause pets to experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and unstableness. High levels of the drug cause coma and death. Good news is that low levels of pentobarbital are unlikely to be a health risk for pets, according to the FDA. With salmonella, pets can have vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and fever. With lesser symptoms such as a fever or decreased appetite, pets can be a salmonella carrier to other pets or to humans. Pet parents who think their pets have become ill after consuming a pet food or treat that has been recalled in the last month should contact their veterinarians.
To keep up to date with any other recalls, you can visit the FDA website at https://www.fda.gov/ and then click on the animal/veterinary tab on the homepage. You can also visit www.petfoodindustry.com.