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Petfood safety, recalls concerns for consumers, petMD survey finds

A recent petMD survey on petfood recalls showed that a majority of pet owners have concerns about petfood safety.

According to the survey, 86 percent respondents said that strict quality-control measures are important to them; however, only 15 percent said they know whether or not the manufacturer of their pet's food practices strict procedures.

"Responsible petfood companies go to extremes to keep the areas where raw ingredients are received and prepared separate from the areas where the cooked product is processed and packaged," said Dr. Lorie Huston, veterinary advisor to petMD. "What's disconcerting is that not many pet owners know whether their petfood company of choice practices these quality control procedures."

The survey's key findings include:

  • Petfood recalls affect consumer confidence: More than 82 percent of survey respondents said they do not believe petfood manufacturers are "doing all they can to keep petfood free of Salmonella and other contaminants."
  • Consumers are unaware of petfood quality control measures: The majority of survey respondents said they would be more likely to buy a petfood if they knew the manufacturer practiced strict separation of raw ingredients from cooked products, but just 15 percent said they know if the manufacturer of their petfood has such procedures in place.
  • Manufacturers should hold petfood until test results come back clean: Nearly 100 percent of survey respondents said they are strongly against the common industry practice of shipping food to retail destinations before final test results from the manufacturing facilities have identified whether a batch of petfood is Salmonella-free.
  • "Made in the USA" petfood is preferred: More than 84 percent of respondents said they prefer petfood products that are manufactured in a US facility, and 98 percent want to see ingredients come only from the US or other countries with similar regulatory systems.
  • Consumers want petfood manufacturing kept "in-house": 80 percent of respondents said it is important to them that a petfood company manufactures its own food under the supervision of its own employees.

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