or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Info on Recall
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Info on Recall

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here is some information on the recall that I got from another forum:

This is the most up to date info I could find on the details of the pet food recall from a veterinary website, Veterinary Information Network.

Friday March 16, 2007: large pet food recall announced by Menu Foods: http://www.menufoods.com/recall/
Recall PDF
Canine Products PDF
Feline Products PDF
Thus far the only information on the FDA website can be found here.
While no further concrete information was forthcoming, VINners shared information on:
o News reports and personal experiences/opinions
o Reports of suspected cases seen
o Reports of states affected – all indications are that this is a national/international issue
After speaking with many colleagues, we have begun to piece together the chronology and facts known. All VINners should remember that we are in the period of CONFUSION associated with any crisis. Historically, information collected and distributed during the early phases of any crisis proves to be partially or totally wrong. Therefore caution should be exercised when examining such information. VIN has attempted to provide the most accurate information available, and will continue to update this information as new evidence comes to light. The questions and answers, as we understand them, are:

Q: Why are so many different brands of pet food affected?
A: Menu Foods manufactures "cuts and gravy†type dog and cat foods for many brand name and private label pet food lines, including several companies VINners believed produced all of their own foods at their own facilities. The explanation provided by VINners familiar with the pet food industry is that the equipment needed to manufacture these foods is very specialized and that Menu Foods manufactures the foods to the specifications of each individual company using ingredients specified and, in many cases, provided by the company contracting with Menu Foods.

Q: Which foods are affected by the recall?
A: Only canned and pouch foods appear to be affected. Dry foods are not manufactured by the same process, and are manufactured at different facilities. There is no indication that dry foods are affected. The recall is restricted to canned and pouch foods.
Specific dog foods affected.
Specific cat foods affected.

Q: When was the problem first noticed?
A: There are conflicting answers to this question.
The version we've heard most consistently is that at the end of February, a new flavored pet food produced by Menu Foods, for an undisclosed company, was undergoing feeding trials and several cats in the feeding trial developed renal failure.

Q: Why was the recall not initiated at that time?
A: Since the renal failure was observed only in cats on the as-yet-unreleased trial diet, Menu Foods believed this "problem†was isolated to that single new food that was not yet on the market. This food was withdrawn from further testing and never marketed. There was no indication at that time of a more generalized issue.

Q: Why did it take another month for the problem to recognized and reported to the FDA and the recall initiated?
A: The details of this timeline are sketchy. One scenario that seems plausible is that the wheat gluten suspected of being the source of the offending agent did not enter the manufacturing process until December and that it takes up to three months for pet food to reach store shelves after manufacture. This explains the lag time between initial detection in the laboratory setting and the general population.
This timeline is contradicted by information provided in this Associated Press story that claims Menu Foods had reports of pet deaths in mid-February.

Q: What is known about the cause of the problem?
The cause at this stage remains unidentified. Substances that have been preliminarily ruled out include:
ethylene glycol

other glycols, including diethylene glycol, propylene glycol, etc.

heavy metals
several solvents and cleaning products known to be used on the machinery used in the production of these foods
several pesticides
Mycotoxins have not been ruled out, although preliminary testing failed to identify the presence of mycotoxins. However, some mycotoxins are extremely difficult to identify. Investigations are currently under way in an effort to identify a cause.

Q: Will a cause be identified?
A: While it is hoped that a cause will be identified soon, it is possible that no cause will be found, or the inciting agent will remain unidentified. Remember that we do not know why grapes or lilies are nephrotoxic and these have been studied for much longer.

Q: What is the basis of the implication of gluten as a cause?
A: Gluten is not nephrotoxic. However, Menu Foods observed that a new gluten source or batch was used in December, when the recalled food was manufactured. Thus, they suspected that the offending "agent†may be associated with this particular batch of gluten. However, without knowing the "toxin†involved, it may be difficult to definitively determine the source.

Q: What signs do affected animals show?
A: Colleagues at IAMS reported that the cats receiving the diet in laboratory settings demonstrated a severe and peracute reaction. Affected individuals often vomit soon (1-12 hours) after ingesting the food, some become anorectic and lethargic. Some salivate and have oral ulcerations. Weakness and hematuria has also been reported. Blood values for BUN/creatinine and phosphorus are greatly elevated (often requiring dilution of the sample to get a value). However, other colleagues are reporting confirmed exposure to the diet with a much wider spectrum of presentations where some individuals affected exhibit signs of mild renal insufficiency, developing after days or weeks, while others rapidly exhibit signs of acute renal failure.

Q: Are dogs and cats equally affected?
A: Currently, most clinical cases have been cats. However, several dogs have been reported as affected, and one dog has reportedly died after ingesting an implicated food. . Small breed dogs and cats are more likely to consume the types of foods implicated (canned, pouch foods), than large breed dogs, who are usually fed dry foods which cost less. Both cat foods and dog foods have been recalled.

Q: Is the toxicity dose-dependent?
A: We don't know. Without knowing the toxin involved, it's difficult to make generalizations. In feeding trials, only some of the animals exposed to the contaminated diet developed clinical problems. The determinants of susceptibility are unknown at this stage.

Q: How should affected individuals be treated?
A: Colleagues at IAMS have suggested that almost all the affected cats respond to standard supportive fluid therapy and recover, despite severe azotemia and uremia at the onset of treatment. This toxicity is not as uniformly lethal as ethylene glycol toxicity or the Diamond Pet Foods-associated aflatoxicosis that caused hepatic failure. Animals treated aggressively, even those with severe azotemia, appear to have a fair prognosis, based on the evidence to date.

Q: Which patients should have renal function tested?
A: There are no specific guidelines. Options include:
All patients who have consumed recalled foods (see list)
All patient who have eaten recalled foods and are showing clinical signs
All patients
Currently, it would seem reasonable to test all exposed patients. We do not at this time know how many of the recalled foods are truly a risk. We'd love to hear input on this question and all other aspects of this summary (see below).

Q: If I suspect I have a case, how should I proceed?
A: First of all, do not panic! Many cases of renal failure may be unrelated to any pet food consumption. Be sure to rule out other causes of acute renal failure (e.g. antifreeze poisoning, pyelonephritis, urolithiasis, acute-on-chronic decompensation). While this problem may be widespread, our clients require us to exercise clear and rational judgment. Unless more specific therapeutic recommendations are forthcoming as more is learned and more cases are treated, the most rational choice is to follow standard therapeutic strategies for acute renal failure. Some VIN resources on acute renal failure can be found here:
Associate chapter on Acute Renal failure
Lecture notes on Acute Renal Failure
Proceedings notes from BSAVA on Acute Renal Failure
Collect Information, so that subsequent studies may help determine the extent and nature of the problem. Collect data on diet history and, when possible, ask clients to bring a sample of the foods fed including a can or package with the product codes identifying the lots and date of manufacture. (How to read product codes)

Record the information and ask clients (to the extent possible), to keep unopened packages of food. If possible, store the fully identified (client, patient, etc) product for the client.

Do not repeat rumors, gossip or innuendo. This does not serve the public or our patients and clients. The reality of the current situation is that we do not know what the cause and extent of the problem is. If questioned by reporters, clients, or anyone, resist the temptation to speculate about or repeat information that you are not confident is accurate.

Advise clients to not feed any foods on the affected lists. If you have a client email list for your clients, alert them to the situation in a cautious and professional manner.

Share what you learn with your colleagues on the message board discussions listed at the beginning of this article. If you have breaking news or strong concerns about this or other information circulating that you want to disseminate rapidly
post #2 of 7
Thank you for sharing this!!

It certainly answers some important questions - hoefully the NEWS people will get a hold of this information!
post #3 of 7
Since I work in a heavy/toxic metals lab I understand how some of these elements are difficult to test and it can be a long drawn out process. Especially in this type of situation where the variables are great such as separation of ingredients, new ingredients, discontinued ingredients. Just testing the food itself may identify a toxic agent but won't tell you exactly which ingredient it is coming from. And sometimes it takes a while to find a suitable sample for testing for toxic metals or other miniscule elements. Isn't as easy as testing for a bacteria in spinach or meat. My point is that I totally understand why it's taking so much longer to identify the exact problem. Thanks for posting this information.
post #4 of 7
I too understand why it takes so long, but I would love to know how they know what is affected when they don't know the cause?

Thanks for the info, it is probably the most comprehensive info we have been given
post #5 of 7
I don't know but it sounds like they make the foods that are cut and gravy type (some companies send their own ingredients, some are menu foods ingredients) and they just pulled all cuts and gravy types off the shelves as a precaution because they don't know exactly which foods are affected.
post #6 of 7
There are still 'unaffected' cuts and gravy on the shelves ??
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
I don't know but it sounds like they make the foods that are cut and gravy type (some companies send their own ingredients, some are menu foods ingredients) and they just pulled all cuts and gravy types off the shelves as a precaution because they don't know exactly which foods are affected.

Yeah that is what I am thinking thou the last food recall was a myotoxin and was found in 24 hours
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
There are still 'unaffected' cuts and gravy on the shelves ??
In some places yes .... my feed store has them out still because they all have dates well before... the bigger stores just pulled them ( I think I will if the feed store still has them out just to be safe)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Info on Recall