Remove suspect varieties of Menu pet food, regardless of date, stores urged
A pet food company is urging store owners in North America to remove all affected varieties of its recalled products from shelves, regardless of the date of manufacture, out of concern for consumers.
On March 16, the company issued a recall of 95 brands of pet food manufactured between Dec. 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007 at two of its U.S. plants. The products were sold in cans and foil pouches in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Deaths of at least 14 cats and dogs have been linked to the contaminated pet food.
Store owners should take all affected varieties of the brandsinvolved inthe recall off store shelves as a precaution, the company said Saturday,not just those manufactured in the given time frame.
"Menu Foods remains concerned that consumers are able to purchase recalled items," the release reads. "There is no known risk from items not listed on the recall list but an abundance of caution is called for in this situation."
A complete list of recalled wet pet food, which is broken down into 42 brands of cat food and 53 brands of dog food, has been posted on the company's web site.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a release updated on Saturday, said pet owners who have any of the products listed on the recall should immediately stop feeding them to their pets.
If dogs and cats who have consumed the products show signs of kidney failure, including loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting, owners should contact their veterinarians.
Rat poison discovered
On Friday, New York State agriculture officials said the wet pet food made by Menu Foods contains aminopterin, a rat poison that can cause cancer, birth defects and kidney damage in dogs and cats.
Paul Henderson, president of Menu Foods, told reporters at a news conference on Friday that the company has no idea how the rat poison got into its products, and he offered an apology to pet owners.
He said the company is relieved that the "root of the issue" has been discovered.
"This important discovery caps an unprecedented search by top experts," he said. "Dedicated and knowledgeable researchers at universities, independent laboratories, and our own veterinary consultants worked tirelessly to defend and protect our cats and dogs."
The FDA said it is working with Menu Foods to ensure the recall is effective. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-866-895-2708.