Pet Food Recalls / Pet Food Safety / Pet Food Regulations
on March 12, 2015

Is your company prepared for an industry petfood recall?

Even if your products aren't involved in a breaking recall, it's important to be able to set your consumers' minds at ease.

In February 2015, a lawsuit was filed against Nestle-Purina PetCare Company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died as a result of eating Beneful dog food. Search online for every major brand of petfood and you will read eerily similar reports posted by pet owners. But is there any accuracy to these claims?

“We believe the lawsuit  is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand,” said Bill Salzman, Nestle-Purina’s director of corporate communications.

Much of the ability of a company to be confident that there is not a problem lies in the truth of numbers. When a petfood brand sells 10,000 bags of a single batch of food and they receive one reported pet illness, would this indicate a food safety issue? Most certainly not. True food safety issues result in trends that are indisputable, numerous reports from a single manufacturing site, a single formula or a single batch of food.

The number of recalls on human food items eclipses the recalls in petfood, but consumer reaction to petfood recalls is swift and emotional. Many, if not most, of the issues that are reported online are not related to recalled product, but product deemed safe by the manufacturer. Table 1 represents food and petfood recalls in January 2015. The highlighted items are recalls for bacterial contamination—12 for human food items and three for petfood items.

With FSMA in play, manufacturers must meet stringent quality and safety requirements. Many companies utilize test and…

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