Smucker recalls canned cat food for choline chloride

The J. M. Smucker Company announced a voluntary recall of one lot of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula canned cat food due to health concerns likely associated with elevated levels of choline chloride.

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courtesy USFDA
courtesy USFDA

The J. M. Smucker Company announced a voluntary recall of one lot of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver PatĂ© Formula canned cat food due to health concerns likely associated with elevated levels of choline chloride, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are most commonly sold in pet specialty retailers and online throughout the United States and Canada. No other Natural Balance products are impacted by this recall. Ingesting impacted product may cause nausea with excessive salivation, constricted pupils and poor vision, diarrhea or vomiting to more severe symptoms including difficulty walking, muscle shaking, tremors, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, possible cardiac or respiratory failure and, in extreme situations, death.

  • Natural Balance Ultra-Premium Chicken & Liver PatĂ© Formula – 5.5 oz. can, Retail UPC code 2363353227, Lot Code 9217803, Best by date: 08/04/2021

About Choline chloride in pet food

Studies with dogs in the 1930s first led researchers to identify choline as a necessary nutrient, according to Petfood Industry’s Ingredient Issues database. Much of the required choline can be found in common pet food ingredients. Choline occurs naturally in plant and animal tissues. The richest natural source of choline in the ingredient market is the emulsifier lecithin, which contains approximately 2 to 3.5% choline; most is derived from soybeans. Considering that the requirements for dogs and cats on a bioavailability adjusted, 4,000-kcal diet basis are 1,700 and 2,550 mg/kg, respectively, there can be a gap in the amount provided by the diet and that needed by the animal. The more common approach for pet food manufacturers is to make up the shortfall and provide some insurance to cover the variability of the base diet ingredients by supplementing with synthetic choline sources. Several choices are allowed in feed and pet food, such as choline chloride, choline bitartrate, choline pantothenate and choline xanthate. The most common in pet food is choline chloride; it's found in almost every pet food product labeled as complete and balanced. Its popularity is due to a combination of cost, choline content and availability.

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