Pet Food Recall: Cross Contamination Fears Widen Cat & Dog Food Recall
The pet food recall has again widened this time under fears of cross contamination. This has again sparked concern from owners and anger as it now seems as if there is little that pet owners can feed their pets with certainty that the cat and dog food is not tainted. The 'cross contamination' worries basically mean that the latest pet foods recalled by Menu foods were made at the same facility at the same time as other Menu Foods products that contained wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine, the company said in statement.
Melamine, used in plastics and fertilizer, has turned up in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China and shipped to various pet food manufacturers. More than 100 brands of pet food have been recalled after reports of kidney failure in cats and dogs and several pet deaths.
Menu Foods, which initiated a recall of 60 million packages of pet food on March 16, said the additional products were not supposed to contain wheat gluten, but a customer report and study results indicated cross-contamination. The Menu Foods list is here.
Reuters is reporting that the FDA has also expanded its investigation to include livestock feed that contained tainted pet food and made its way to some 6,000 hogs and as many as 3.1 million chickens. The report notes that while both the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have said food from those pigs and chickens poses little risk for humans, they have called for remaining livestock that consumed the feed to be slaughtered.
Wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate are also used in human foods such as bread and pasta, but there is "no evidence that it has ended up in baby food or for that matter any other human food as an ingredient," said FDA Assistant Commissioner for Food Protection David Acheson.
He said the FDA was continuing to hold vegetable-based proteins from China at the border pending further inspection as well as testing samples of pet foods and ingredients already in the United States.
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