Alpo® Brand Prime Cuts In Gravy Canned Dog Food Voluntary Nationwide Recall
March 30, 2007
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company today announced it is voluntarily recalling all sizes and varieties of its ALPO® Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. The Company is taking this voluntary action after learning today that wheat gluten containing melamine, a substance not approved for use in food, was provided to Purina by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods. The contamination occurred in a limited production quantity at only one of Purina's 17 pet food manufacturing facilities.
Consumers should immediately stop feeding their dogs ALPO Prime Cuts products with the date codes listed below and consult with a veterinarian if they have any health concerns with their pet.
The recalled 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs have four-digit code dates of 7037 through 7053, followed by the plant code 1159. Those codes follow a "Best Before Feb. 2009" date. This information should be checked on the bottom of the can or the top or side of the multi-pack cartons.
Importantly, no Purina brand dry pet foods are affected by the recall - including ALPO Prime Cuts dry. In addition, no other Purina dog food products, no Purina cat food products, Purina treat products or Purina Veterinary Diet products are included in this recall, nor have been impacted by the contaminated wheat gluten supply.
At Purina, nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of the pets whose nutrition has been entrusted to us by their owners, and we deeply regret this unfortunate situation. We will continue to take any and all actions necessary to ensure the quality and safety of our products.
Please see our March 30 press release for more information and click here for an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have more questions or concerns, please contact our Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-218-5898
This is from CNN...
Story Highlights• One type of Alpo wet dog food recalled on Saturday
• Hill's Pet Nutrition recalls Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food
• FDA says chemical used in plastics found in recalled pet food, sick animals
• Scientists not sure melamine was cause of pets' deaths
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The recall of contaminated pet foods expanded Saturday to include a new brand, even as investigators puzzled over how a chemical called melamine would kill dogs and cats.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. said it was recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes.
Purina said a limited amount of the food contained a contaminated wheat gluten from China. (Read details of Purina recall)
The same U.S. supplier also provided wheat gluten, a protein source, to a Canadian company, Menu Foods, which this month recalled 60 million containers of wet dog and cat food it produces for sale under nearly 100 brand labels. (Watch FDA official tell why pet food situation is so confusing )
Menu Foods and the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the pet food industry, have refused to identify the company that supplied the contaminated wheat gluten.
Hill's Pet Nutrition said late Friday that its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food included the tainted wheat gluten. The FDA said the source was the same unidentified company.
Hill's, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co., is so far the only company to recall any dry pet food. (Hill's recall information)
Federal testing of some recalled pet foods and the wheat gluten used in their production turned up the chemical melamine. Melamine is used to make kitchenware and other plastics. It is both a contaminant and byproduct of several pesticides, including cyromazine, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Melamine is toxic only in very high doses and has been shown in rats to produce bladder tumors, according to the EPA.
The federal pet food testing failed to confirm the presence of aminopterin, a cancer drug also used as rat poison, the FDA said. Cornell University scientists also found melamine in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating some of the recalled food.
Earlier, the New York State Food Laboratory identified aminopterin as the likely culprit in the pet food. But the FDA said it could not confirm that finding, nor have researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey when they looked at tissue samples taken from dead cats.
Experts at the University of Guelph in Canada detected aminopterin in some samples of the recalled pet food, but only in very small percentages.
"Biologically, that means nothing. It wouldn't do anything," said Grant Maxie, a veterinary pathologist at the university. "This is a puzzle."
The FDA was working to rule out the possibility that the contaminated wheat gluten could have made it into any human food.
Menu Foods announced the recall this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the company's products. (Menu Foods recall information)
An FDA official allowed that it was not immediately clear whether the melamine was the culprit. The agency's investigation continues, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Menu Foods said the only certainty was that imported wheat gluten was the likely source of the deadly contamination, even if the actual contaminant remained in doubt.
"The important point today is that the source of the adulteration has been identified and removed from our system," said Paul Henderson, Menu Foods chief executive officer and president. Henderson suggested his company would pursue legal action against the supplier. (Watch the Menu Foods CEO discuss the case) )
About 70 percent of the wheat gluten used in the United States for human and pet food is imported from the European Union and Asia, according to the Pet Food Institute, an industry group.
One veterinarian suggested the international sourcing of ingredients would force the U.S. "to come to grips with a reality we had not appreciated."
"When you change from getting an ingredient from the supplier down the road to a supplier from around the globe, maybe the methods and practices that were effective in one situation need to be changed," said Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University. (Watch pet owner talk about her beloved dog's death )
Sundlof said the agency may change how it regulates the pet food industry.
"In this case, we're going to have to look at this after the dust settles and determine if there is something from a regulatory standpoint that we could have done differently to prevent this incident from occurring," he said.
It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not thousands have died. The FDA has received more than 8,000 complaints; the company, more than 300,000.