Food Poisoning in the News: Menu Foods, Inc. Pet Foods

Since March 16, 2007 and following the reports of US pets which had developed kidney failure after consuming its “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat foods, the Menu Foods Inc, which is a private-label per food producers based in Ontario, Canada, started the recall all affected pet food manufactured at its plant in Emporia, Kansas, between December 3, 2006 to March 6, 2007. FDA is doing an investigation and working closely with Menu Foods Inc to make sure the effectiveness of the recall.

Product Details and Recall Information

The potentially contaminated dog and cat food products are packed in cans and pouches under different brand names and are marketed in US through pet food retailers such as Ahold USA Inc, Kroger Company, Safeway, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, PetSmarrt Inc, and Pet Valu Inc. These products are also sold in Canada and Mexico. The official website of Menu Foods contains particular information about the Recalled Cat Products and Recalled Dog Products, and Recall FAQ for Consumers. Menua Foods is informing retailers by telephone and mail and is arranging for the return of all recalled products.

Pet Deaths Reported to the FDA

As of today, Menu Foods Inc has reported 14 animal deaths to the FDA. There were 9 cats have died during routine taste trials which were done by the company, and consumers also reported more deaths such as four cats and one dog.

Testing of Pet Food Products

FDA announced last March 30, 2007, about a testing of Menu Foods pet food that showed the presence of a chemical-used in producing of plastics. The chemical is called as “melamine” which was also found in testing of wheat gluten that was utilized as an ingredient in the affected pet food products.

On March 23, the scientists in New York State Food Laboratory had declared that they found the presence of aminopterin, a chemical used as rat poison, in two or three cat food samples given by the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at the Cornell University.

Advice for Consumers

Consumers who have any of these products should right away discontinue feeding them to their pets. The owners of the dogs or cats who have consumed the suspected food and showed signs of kidney failures, characterized by loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting, should consult with their veterinarian. Those with inquiries may contact Menu Foods at 1-866-895-2708. Consumers who wanted to report adverse reactions or other problems to the FDA, contact FDA complaint coordinator.

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