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Pet Food Recall - Food Causing Kidney Failure and Death

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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I wanted to give you an update (as much as I know) about the recent pet food recall scare. Over the weekend, there has been a lot of press coverage about a pet food recall. There have been reports of different pet foods causing kidney failure in cats and dogs and death in at least 10 pets.

A pet food maker started recalling products that were sold at over 46 chains. The recall covers several different foods primarily with gravy components with the dates of December 3rd - March 6th. The recall does not affect all varieties of the different food.

For information or an updated list, call 1-866-895-2708, or click on the link below:

http://www.menufoods.com/recall/

The most common signs are vomiting, not eating and lethargy. If your pet is eating one of the recalled for and experiencing any symptoms, please call your veterinarian. I hope none of your pets are affected.

Regards,

Dr. Jon


P.S. If you have any comments or have had problems resulting from these foods, Email me. I'd love to share your comments with other PetPlace.com readers.


P.P.S. Here is some information from a press release that I received this morning:

Menu Foods Income Fund Announces Precautionary Dog and Cat Food Recall

Menu Foods Income Fund (the "Fund") (TSX:MEW.UN) today announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall is limited to "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured at two of the Fund's United States facilities. These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands.

Over the past several days, the Fund has received feedback in the United States (none in Canada) raising concerns about pet food manufactured since early December, and its impact on the renal health of the pets consuming the products. Shortly after receipt of the first complaint, the Fund initiated a substantial battery of technical tests, conducted by both internal and external specialists, but has failed to identify any issues with the products in question. The Fund has, however, discovered that timing of the production associated with these complaints, coincides with the introduction of an ingredient from a new supplier. The Fund stopped using this ingredient shortly after this discovery and production since then has been undertaken using ingredients from another source.

At the same time, the Fund's largest customer, for which it manufactures on a contract basis, received a small number of consumer complaints and has initiated its own recall. Furthermore, for the time being, the customer has put future orders for cuts and gravy products on hold. This customer's cuts and gravy purchases in 2006 represented approximately 11% of the Fund's annual revenue. "We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution" said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. "We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our products maintain the very highest quality standards."

While the number of complaints has been relatively small, Menu is taking this proactive step out of an abundance of caution, because the health and well-being of pets is paramount to the Fund. In addition to changing suppliers, for production after March 6, the Fund has increased testing of all raw materials and finished goods. It is also working closely with regulatory authorities and its customers to learn more and will take whatever additional actions are appropriate. The Fund estimates that based on currently available information, this recall could cost between $30 million and $40 million, which will be financed from a combination of internally generated cash flow and bank credit facilities. Furthermore, the Fund is aggressively producing product, utilizing a different supplier for the ingredient in question, to replenish customers as quickly as possible. In order to determine whether cat and dog food in their possession is subject to recall, consumers should refer to the list of brand names ("listed products") at ww.menufoods.com/recall.

This came available 6 a.m. Saturday March 17, 2007. Products not identified on the website can continue to be used.

Menu is the leading North American private-label/contract manufacturer of wet pet food products sold by supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers, pet specialty retailers and other retail and wholesale outlets. In 2006, the Fund produced more than one billion containers.



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