Mars Petcare US Issues Voluntary Recall due to Potential Salmonella 2008
Mars Petcare US Issues Voluntary Recall due to Potential SalmonellaFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Fanklin, Tennessee – September 12, 2008Today, Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of products manufactured at its Everson, Pennsylvania facility. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled because of potential contamination with Salmonella serotypeSchwarzengrund. This voluntary recall only affects the United States.Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. On rare occasions, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.The company stopped production at the Everson facility on July 29, 2008 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.Even though no direct link between product produced at Everson and human or pet illness has been made, Mars Petcare US is taking precautionary action to protect pets and their owners by announcing a voluntary recall of all products produced at the Everson facility beginning February 18, 2008 until July 29, 2008 when we stopped production.The company is continuing to work collaboratively with the FDA to determine the nature and source of Salmonella Schwarzengrund at the Everson facility. Since it has not yet identified the source of the Salmonella Schwarzengrund at the Everson facility, Mars Petcare US does not plan to resume production out of a commitment to the safety of our pet owners and their pets, customers, and associates. The top priority of Mars Petcare US has always been and continues to be the health and welfare of pets and their owners. Consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality and safety of the products produced at other Mars Petcare US facilities. Only those products which were produced at the Everson facility are impacted by the voluntary recall.Many of the brands involved in the recall are national brands produced at multiple facilities. A chart for all products is below. For example, PEDIGREE® is manufactured in numerous facilities throughout the country, and Everson represents a very small portion of the manufacturing base – 2.7 percent of total PEDIGREE® production.Mars Petcare US will work with retail customers to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or fed to pets. In the event that consumers believe they have purchased products affected by this voluntary recall, they should return the product to the store where they purchased it for a full refund. Specific product details and other information can be found at www.petcare.mars.com.Please find recalled pet food UPC information below.The products listed below are made at our Everson facility on behalf of a variety of retailers. All code dates, with the exception of PEDIGREE®, are listed in a similar format as noted below: Consumers should look for “17” as the first two digits of the second line. Sample: Best By Feb 18 09 17 1445 1For PEDIGREE® the Everson code date format is as follows:Consumers should look for “PAE” on the bottom line – the sixth, seventh and eighth digits. Sample: PEDIGREE ® Small Crunchy Bites Best Before 02/2009 808G1PAE01 12:00In an effort to prevent the transmission of Salmonella from pets to family members and care givers, the FDA recommends that everyone follow appropriate pet food handling guidelines when feeding their pets. A list of safe pet food handling tips can be found at: www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/petfoodtips080307.htmlPet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-568-4463 or visit www.petcare.mars.com.