(NaturalNews) Mars Petcare issued a limited recall of Pedigree dog food. The recall is limited to Southern California and Las Vegas, NV. A "component" of the food that tested positive for Salmonella contamination "was inadvertently shipped to our Tracy, California facility and used in the production of 100 bags of PEDIGREE(R) Complete Nutrition Small Crunchy Bites with best buy dates of 07/2009." If you or any pet owners you know that live in the recall area who feed Pedigree dog food to pets, please alert them. Here is the link to the press release of the recall: (http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/mars-p...) . Products recalled were shipped to California and Nevada.
This pet food recall has everything to do with the lack of quality control -- not specific to Pedigree or Mars Petcare, but specific to the pet food industry itself. Similar circumstances caused the December 2005 dog food recall of Diamond Pet Foods. Just like Pedigree's Salmonella contaminated component was 'inadvertently shipped' to manufacturing instead of destroyed, safety procedures at Diamond Pet Foods were in place, they just were not followed. In Diamond's case it was the detection of a deadly mold that was overlooked. Over 100 dogs died because someone did not follow testing and quality control standards.
AAFCO -- American Association of Feed Control Officials -- is the organization responsible for the rules of pet food manufacturing. Currently pet food manufacturing quality control guidelines -- developed by AAFCO -- are only 'recommended'. There are no uniform nationwide quality control regulations that pet food manufacturers are mandated to follow. This new Pedigree 'limited recall' and Diamond Pet Foods recall of 2005 (and who knows how many in the future) could have been prevented if AAFCO and the FDA would step up and accept the responsibility to develop and implement uniform quality control standards that every pet food manufacturer is required by law to follow.
Pet owners are left with a side stepping responsibility dance between AAFCO and the FDA. When a problem arises and someone tries to hold them accountable for lack of proper regulations, each organization has their standard reply. AAFCO's avoidance dance is claiming the organization 'only recommends' their pet food regulations, ingredient definitions, and manufacturing guidelines to the FDA and each U.S. state's Department of Agriculture. The FDA's avoidance dance is typically not enough resources and not enough staff.
Every company, regardless if their product is pet food or toilet paper, makes mistakes. However when the product is food for our furry family members, recommended quality control just doesn't cut it. A message to the FDA and AAFCO: perhaps it's time to stop making recommendations and make some strict laws instead. Perhaps if pet food manufacturing quality control was mandated, along with some stiff penalties and fines for mistakes -- fewer mistakes would happen. Whenever there are police equipped with radar guns on the highway, amazingly everyone slows down. It's time for radar guns in the pet food manufacturing plants.
About the author
Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years. If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com