Friday, September 19, 2008

Pet Food Recall - Salmonella - Affecting Pedigree & Others


Warning: If You Read Nothing Else Read About The Pedigree Recall
On Friday, September 12, 2008 Mars issued a
voluntary nationwide recall of products manufactured
at the Everson, Pennsylvania plant. The 150 brands
involved so far include: Pedigree, Old Roy Dog Food,
Special Kitty Cat Food, Country Acres Cat and Dog
food, Members Mark, Retriever brands, Natural Cat
and Dog Food (Sam's Club), Paws & Claws,
Wegman's Bruiser, Pet Pride, PMI, Red Flannel.

You may not recognize some of these names -
they are private label brands produced for various
supermarkets. For a complete list of all recalled
brands and sizes go to

The recall is due to potential salmonella
contamination - particularly Salmonella serotype
Schwarzengrund. The press release from Mars alerts
us to the symptoms (for both pets and humans) and
advises us to contact the doctor should we have any
such problems.

1. Internally, the company ordered production
stopped at the Everson, PA facility on July 29th, 2008
because they were alerted to a potential and possible
link of two cases of Salmonella Schwarzengrund in
humans. Yet Mars waited until August 08, 2008 (10
days later) to issue only a limited recall for Pedigree
sold in Las Vegas and Southern California. Finally,
on September 12, 2008 - 45 days after production
in the plant was stopped Mars issued a nationwide
recall of 150 brands? Why so long to let the public

2. The recall now involves all products produced
at the Everson PA plant beginning February 18, 2008
until July 29, 2008 when production was halted. Why
February 18, 2008? One could guess that their trace
back leads to contamination found as far back as
February 18, 2008.

3. Salmonella Schwarzengrund Outbreak
Investigation, August 2007. The Center for Disease
Control (CDC) collaborated just a year ago with FDA
and public health officials due to a multistate outbreak
of same salmonella strain and these illnesses were
linked directly to the dry pet food produced at MARS
Everson PA facility

4. The FDA provides guidelines to MARS and all
other pet food manufacturers, which states "... it
expects pet food manufacturers to use sufficient
manufacturing process controls and procedures to
ensure finished products are free of all Salmonella
species and other pathogenic microbes. This
could include having a Hazard Analysis and Critical
Control Point plan in place, sampling finished
product prior to releasing products into commerce
and sampling incoming ingredients for the presence
of Salmonella..."
Assuming Mars follows the guidelines why yet
another recall of the same strain of salmonella from
exactly the same manufacturing facility?

Note: Mars of course assures us that their
products are produced at many facilities
throughout the country and only 2.7 percent of the
total PEDIGREE production came from this plant.
And all the other brands they produce?

5. Who's qualified to answer your questions?
Today I called the hotline at Mars to talk to a
company representative. In the course of the
conversation she assured me that there is no
salmonella in their products but they did find
salmonella Schwartzengrundat the production
facility. That was, I think, supposed to reassure
me. She said that sometimes the byproducts from
animals used in their products contain salmonella
and that might be where it came from.

When I questioned her about the same strain
and product recall a year ago she said she wasn't
aware of it - and sorry, she was new to Mars.

6. Healthy people can become infected with
Salmonella Schwarzengrund. It becomes
particularly dangerous to children, infants, the
elderly and those with compromised immune
systems. Some symptoms include vomiting,
diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever but even
more serious ailments could occur and you should
of course consult your doctor. The most obvious
means of transfer is though handling of food.


Mars hasn't actually admitted there is
anything wrong with their pet food. The verbiage is
all in the "potential" contamination and "voluntary"
recall lingo. They haven't said how much is
involved yet ...if any. But, they have stopped
production at the plant that had exactly the same
problem one year ago. And they have issued a
nationwide recall. You be the judge - and if you
know anyone feeding these brands be sure to
make them aware of the potential dangers.

1 comment:

Emma said...

If your dog has diarrhea mixing rice with their food and even some unflavored Metamucil helps to firm up stool. Pedigree is really not a very good food to begin with. Neither is IAMs Beneful Purina or any of the other foods you have usually heard of. The first several ingredients are usually corn (we know what happens when our body gets corn, we poop it out and don’t use it, same with dogs) meat by products (the take the meat off of whatever it is and you get the bones, feathers, coat, feet, beaks, etc) and white or brewers rice (no nutritional value, just a filler) because of this our dogs need to eat more to get the nutrients they need and poop a lot more too. diet and eukanuba are not very good foods either. They used to be but they were bought out by other companies who, to save money, changed the ingredients to fillers and by products. These foods cost about the same as the all naturals foods and you are getting pedigree quality food. You can check all the ingredients yourself. Stay away from the first 3 ingredients being corn, by products of any kind, and white or brewer’s rice. Go for foods with chicken, chicken meal, or any meats that don’t have by product after them, and BROWN rice. These are good foods. Try going to a specialty pet store and ask about a better food. Precise, Royal Canin, and Verus are all really good foods. When you look at the ingredients they will be along the lines of Chicken, brown rice (the only rice with nutritional value for dogs), and usually another protein source such as chicken meal (chicken meal is just dehydrated chicken, very good) your dogs will eat much less of the food so even though it cost a bit more you go through less food and it ends up saving you money. They also poop less, live longer, and are overall healthier. I have four shih tzus and I feed them Royal Canin dry food. 10lbs of that food last us over a month. 4 adults dogs eating only 10lbs of food between the 4 of them is pretty good! These foods are also all natural and organic so they are never involved in any recalls; you know your food is always safe. Go to your local pet store and ask about these brands (Precise, Royal Canin, Verus, Wellness, California Natural, Innova, Canidae, Merrik) many stores, such as Pets Plus, will even give you your money back for the dog food if your dog doesn’t like it and has programs such as buy 10 bags get your 11th free. It's worth a try and trust me your dogs will love it.