Just about the time we think that everyone has quieted down after the Menu Foods recall of massive amounts of dry heat processed pet food, another recall scare surfaces. It seems like every week a new one surfaces. Are we seeing the effects of the new standards that have been implemented and now we are seeing the real dangers and hazards that exist with heat processed pet food? Are the manufacturers finally doing proper testing to discover the contaminated batches of their products? Is the government watching over the industry closer and this crack down on improper labeling and processing standards are creating the new wave of recalls?
It is scary to have to question the validity of quality assurance statements on the packaging and it makes the general public question the research, and the marketing hype that is promoted on the various brands of heat processed pet food. Consumers are now finding out that the heat processing and extruded kibble diets are not as safe as originally promoted. Previous announcements and concerns from vets were only against the raw meat diets. The raw meat diets were the major stumbling blocks with many of the traditional vets because of the potential salmonella contamination. Isn’t it surprising that the recalls of many of the recent dry food manufacturers products have been triggered because of Salmonella contamination.
HOW CAN THIS BE? The product is heated and processed under extreme heat conditions. The products are laced with chemicals and preservatives to prevent spoilage? There should be no reason at all to find Salmonella in the dry kibble but obviously there must be certain areas in the plant that are exposing the product to the bacteria. No manufacturer can continue to survive massive recalls of product. One thing for sure—new standards and new quality assurance programs will have to be instituted to correct the problem before consumer confidence is shattered completely.
How have the recalls affected our business? Well- the phones have not stopped ringing ever since the recalls started. Consumers have now learned that better attention to ingredient quality is needed in order to feel good about what they are feeding their companion animals. The veterinary community has been taking a fresh new look at alternative feeding programs such as the raw meat diets. They are seeing that the entire industry, not just the raw meat diet producers, have bacterial issues to deal with. Because of this, it is very important for all manufacturers to follow adequate human production processing standards and more importantly using ingredients that have been passed and subjected to USDA regulation. This way we are at least offering our pets the same level of safety that we have set for ourselves. Now if we can get all manufacturers to follow the same level of safety and concern then the industry will regain consumer confidence.
posted by Rob Mueller