Pet Food Recall: Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care

Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care in 6.8 lbs. bags is being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.  The recall, so far, is for a small number of bags sold in Colorado (Update: now involves more states–Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) with the code date of 02304173 (B1-B6) and a UPC number of 1901403921.

What you need to know about Salmonella

Salmonella can cause serious illness in cats and dogs and cross-contamination to humans is possible resulting in serious illness.


Pet Food Recall: Merrick Recall Expanded

All 10 oz. bags of Beef Filet Squares treats and Texas Hold’ems treats are now being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination.

If you have purchased either of these, return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00 – 5:00 CDT.

What you need to know about Salmonella

Salmonella can cause serious illness in cats and dogs and cross-contamination to humans is possible resulting in serious illness.

The FDA Recall Policy

It’s important to understand how FDA recalls work.  These voluntary recalls are not exactly voluntary, which isn’t at all clear to most people.  There are two problems, first the recalls are called voluntary because the FDA has no power to demand a recall.  The FDA doesn’t actually require recalls, they request them.  If a company refuses, the FDA can seize product and shut down operations.*  So, technically all recalls are voluntary.  However, because of liability issues, companies pretty much have to conduct a recall or face litigation and a court ordered recall.  So not so voluntary.**  

And this is important because secondly, the term ‘voluntary’ implies the danger of the product may not be all that great, that the company had a choice about the recall, that the company is recalling the product out of the goodness of their heart.   

For more information, here is are:

*[“The FDA can order a recall only under unusual circumstances. These include, but are not limited to, infant formula recalls, medical tissue product recalls (such as skin graft cultures) and medical device recalls where there’s a significant risk to a patient if the device is not used in its mandated and recommended way.”]

**(The exception is if the company initiates the recall first and informs the FDA, which tends to happen when the company conducts their own internal testing.  This sort of recall IS voluntary in the true sense of the word.)

Recalls: Merrick, United Pet Group, Feline’s Pride, PetSafe Pet Bed

Merrick Beef Filet Squares

The FDA requested the recall of Beef Filet Squares for Dogs in 10 oz. plastic bags of marked with “Lot # 10084TL7 Best By Mar 24, 2012” on the top of the bag and on a sticker on the bottom.  The FDA tested samples collected from bags bought in a store and the sample tested positive for Salmonella.  For refund, return unused portion to place of purchase.

But wait, there’s more!  Food Safety News has a pretty damning article on Merrick.  In June, the FDA sent a warning letter to Merrick criticizing their handling of the January recall which was also due to Salmonella contamination.  The FDA finds fault with Merrick, stating:

  • Your firm delayed your public communication to alert consumers who may have the recalled product in their possession until after FDA issued an FDA Health Alert on January 14, 2010.
  • Your recall communications to distributors, retailers, and consumers only included case lot coding 9323, which was different from the lot coding on some of the individual bags. Due to a labeling error, some of the affected bags were coded with the lot code 9333.
  • Your recall letter did not identify the hazard involved. Your letter to wholesale and retail consignees indicated the product was recalled because it “may not have been processed properly.” Recalls can be less effective if the recall communication does not concisely explain the reason for recall and the hazard involved.

It’s this sort of arrogant response form a company that ticks me off.  Looks like the snarky comment (by Ken Wilks who said he was a Merrick employee) on my post about the 1st recall was indeed a load of crap.

United Pet Group—Includes 56 differently named products made for multiple brands

This one is a doosy.  The recall started out for just Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement tablets for dogs 100-count, UPC code 26851-01800 & expiration dates on or before “06/13”, but has been expanded—big time.  (I want to point out though, that this recall was initiated by the company after their own internal testing came up positive for Salmonella and the company itself decided to expand the recall.)

The expanded recall includes 55 more products.  I strongly encourage you to check the FDA’s list to make sure something you use isn’t affected.

Consumers who have any recalled products should contact United Pet Group or the place of purchase for further instructions. United Pet Group at 1-877-399-5226, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST.

Feline’s Pride Raw Food Natural Chicken Formula

Due to possible Salmonella contamination, Feline’s Pride is recalling one of their frozen products—Feline’s Pride Raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens, Natural Chicken Formula, Net Wt. 2.5 lbs., produced on June 10. It’s packaged in uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private customers nationwide. This recall affects only  orders placed and shipped from June 10-17.  It’s not clear from the announcement whether the Salmonella was detected through internal testing or through FDA testing.

If you have product affected by this recall, seal it on a plastic bag and dispose of it in a secure, lidded trash can.  Wash your hands thoroughly.

If you have questions or need a refund, contact the company at (716) 580-3096, Monday –Friday from 10 am – 4 pm EDT.

PetSafe Pet Bed Power Adapters

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling the power adapters used with PetSafe Heated Wellness Sleepers sold at pet stores, in catalogs and online from September 2006 through April 2010, for between $70 and $110.  The recall is because when the metal connector is removed from the bed, it can cause arcing between the coil spring and the connector, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.  Yikes!

The recalled power adapters are identified by the markings “HON-KWANG”, “PLUG IN CLASS 2 TRANSFORMER”, “MODEL NO: K12-800” and have a spring coil covering the length of the electrical wire. Heated Wellness Sleepers with power adapters without springs are not affected by this voluntary recall.

The beds themselves have either Hunter Green/Sand, Military Blue/Sand and Khaki/Sand covers and have a jacquard PetSafe logo stitched to the center front. Additional product labels include the Radio Systems Customer Care phone number.

Consumers should stop using these products immediately and call Radio Systems Corporation’s Customer Care at 1-800-732-2677 for instructions on how to receive a free replacement power adapter with the return of the old power adapter.

You can also mail your old power adapter to the following address with your name, address, phone number, and other contact information, and they will ship a new power adapter to you:
Radio Systems Corporation
Attention: Recall
10427 Electric Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37932

Pet Food Recall: Merrick, Nature’s Variety

photo credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH


A tale of 2 pet food recalls—one typical and one that shows how it should be done.  First, the typical recall, as preformed by Merrick for their Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats.  During testing, the FDA “detected a positive finding for Salmonella. (Find info. about Salmonella below.) A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes.”  Merrick issued a press release about the recall on a Friday.  (Friday night press releases happened all the time during the huge melamine contamination recalls.  Friday nights were late nights for me during that time because recalls would be issued in the middle of the night on Fridays so the stories would get minimal coverage.  It’s a tradition in business and government.) There is no sign Merrick has done anything to better insure the safety of their product and there’s no word on how to get your money back.  Swell.

The recalled product is:

  • Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats—Item # 60016 / Lot Code “9323 best buy 111911” in 10 ounce green, red & tan resealable plastic bag

Setting a good example

Moving on to the atypical recall as performed by Nature’s Variety.  Results from their own testing done by an outside facility showed possible salmonella contamination. (Find info. about Salmonella below.) Nature’s Variety announced the recall on a Thursday and when they expanded the recall, they announced it on a Monday, insuring maximum news coverage.  Nature’s Variety has instituted new safety measures using High Pressure Pasteurization and practices “a test and hold protocol to ensure that all High Pressure Pasteurized Raw Frozen Diets test negative for harmful bacteria before being released for sale.”  The expanded recall was done to remove any product made before the new safety measures were in place.  To get a refund or replacement, bring your receipt or empty package in a sealed bag to your local retailer.

A company taking responsibility for the safety of its product and providing customer service???  What a concept!  Are you paying attention Merrick?

The recall includes the following products with a “Best If Used By” date of 10/29/10 or 11/9/10:

  1. UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
  2. UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
  3. UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
  4. UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs

The products included in the expanded recall are any Chicken Formula or Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet with a “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11, including:

  1. UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
  2. UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
  3. UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
  4. UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs
  5. UPC#7 69949 50121 3 – Chicken Formula 12 lb case of chubs
  6. UPC#7 69949 60137 1 – Organic Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
  7. UPC#7 69949 60127 2 – Organic Chicken Formula 6 lb patties

What you need to know about Salmonella

Salmonella can cause serious illness in cats and dogs and there can be cross-contamination to humans causing serious illness in humans.