Pet food company recalls food sold in B.C.

Pet food sold in B.C. is being recalled for fear of melamine contamination, the manufacturer said Thursday.

Diamond Pet Foods is recalling one of its products in British Columbia for fear of melamine contamination.

Melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers, was found in more than 100 brands of contaminated pet food that were recalled from the marketplace in Canada and the United States in mid-March.

Diamond Pet Foodsis recallingits Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula sold in 18-kilogram (40-pound) bags with a best-before date of Oct. 9, 2008. The recall applies to bags stamped with the production codes NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL.

No deaths have been reported, but pets who have eaten the product should be watched closely, the company said. Affected animals will be very thirstyand will vomit within 24 hours of consuming the food, it added. Other symptoms include loss of appetite and lethargy.

Diamond Pet Foods, based in California, said the recalled product was manufactured at the same facility as other products that contained rice protein concentrate later found to be tainted with melamine.

The pet food was soldin B.C., Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Consumers are being asked to return unused portions of the pet food to the retailer for a refund.

Melamine in food chain

The U.S. Food and Drug Administrationhas fielded about 17,000 consumer calls aboutcontaminated pet food and relatedpet illnesses since March.

Contaminated pet food has also been found in animal feed, but FDA officialshave told consumers that pork, chicken and egg products from animals that were given feed tainted with melamine are safe to eat. The U.S. agency said tests on the feed showed low levels of the industrial chemical.

Canadian fish farms have also been affected by melamine contamination. In May,Vancouver-based Skretting Canada recalled its fish feed after learning it was tainted with the same contaminated Chinese wheat flour linked to the pet food recall.

The FDA last week saidthat fish given the contaminated feed are also safe to eat.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued border lookouts for wheat gluten, soy proteins, corn glutens and rice proteins from China.