Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: Pet Food Recall

Dear Readers,

If you have not already heard, on July 27th, the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company voluntarily recalled a limited number of 3.5- and 7-pound bags of its Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food from a single production run shipped to customers in December, 2010. Some bags of the product have been found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Only Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food with both the “Best By” date of May, 2012 and the production codes 03341084 or 03351084 are included in this voluntary recall. If you use that kind of food, check your bags now.

You can always get this kind of up to date information from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food safety website at http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/petfood/index.html

On a happier note, on August 1st the Partnership for Food Protection and the FDA announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet). PETNet is a web based information exchange system that will allow FDA and Federal and State Agencies to share initial information about pet-food related incidents, such as illness associated with the consumption of pet food or pet food product defects. PETNet’s voluntary information exchange, surveillance and alert system is designed to provide a real-time mechanism for sharing information about emerging pet food related illnesses and product defects between FDA, other Federal agencies, and the States.

The system will be accessible to PETNet members, who are Federal, State, and Territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals. Members will enter “events” into the system when they have identified a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food products, as well as pet food product defects within their own jurisdiction that should be communicated to their regulatory counterparts. Once entered on the standardized form, the information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members. This will enable PETNet members to track such data and to evaluate the need for action within their individual jurisdictions.

The concept for PETNet was developed in response to the 2007 melamine pet food recall. One difficulty faced by FDA and FDA’s State regulatory partners during the melamine incident was the timely sharing of information between FDA and the States and among the States themselves. PETNet was developed to enable the sharing of information between Federal and State officials about instances of food borne illness in companion animals, as well as product defects that may lead to such outbreaks.

All you people who complain about government bureaucracy and regulations have probably never seen a pet die of melamine (or salmonella) poisoning. We are delighted to know that the FDA takes pet food safety seriously. On to the next meal!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.