There’s few things more frightening than a pet food recall and unfortunately, it’s happened again – yet another pet food recall has been issued, placing thousands of pets at risk of illness or worse.
Mars Petcare U.S., manufacturers of Pedigree® and a host of other dry dog food and cat food brands, has expanded a voluntary pet food recall due to possible salmonella contamination. This is the latest in a string of pet food recalls issued by this particular manufacturer since August 2008.
What Brands of Pet Food Have Been Recalled?
Cat owners and dog owners should be sure to check the official list of recalled pet foods to ensure that your pet’s food has not been included in the recall. According to Mars Petcare, the following foods have been recalled:
- Special Kitty®
- Ol’ Roy®
- Berkley & Jensen®
- Bistro Blend®
- ShopRite® Pet Food
- ShopRite Crunchy Bites, Bones and Healthy Squares Dog Food®
- Small Bites and Bones®
What States and Regions Are Affected by This Recall?
As of November 25, 2008, this pet food recall only affected portions of the United States.
It’s believed that the recalled pet food has been sent to the following states for sale at stores including Wal-Mart, ShopRite Supermarkets and B.J.’s Wholesale Club, but it’s possible that the recalled pet food has been distributed to other stores and other states.
The following states have been confirmed as being affected by this recall:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
How Can I Tell if My Pet’s Food Has Been Recalled?
To determine if a bag of dry cat food or dry dog food is included in this salmonella-related recall, pet owners can compare their bag’s UPC code against a list of the recalled UPC codes on the Mars Petcare website.
Pet owners can also check the “Best By” date, located near the UPC code on the bag.
Mars Petcare says that the bags of recalled pet food will have the number “50” at the beginning of the second row of the “Best By” code.
Here’s an example of how the code may appear on a recalled bag of food:
Best By DEC 15 09
50 1445 1
Some pet owners store their cat or dog food in a tub or storage container. If this is the case and you no longer have the original pet food bag, you should play it safe and assume that your pet’s food is included in the recall.
And in the future, pet owners who store their pet’s food in a tub or container may want to consider saving the bag until your pet has finished the food. I’ve started saving my pet food bags for this very reason. I’ve also started saving my pet food receipts because receipts are a vital tool if your pet does get sick with salmonella.
Pet food manufacturers frequently reimburse pet owners for veterinary bills if a pet gets sick as the result of a pet food recall, but you need your receipt and your original pet food bag in order to be eligible for reimbursement. So keeping that receipt and the empty bag may save you hundreds of dollars down the road. The empty pet food bag may also help give you peace of mind – you may check the “Best Buy” numbers and UPC code to discover your pet’s food is not included in the recall.
What Should I Do if My Pet’s Food Has Been Recalled?
If you find that your pet’s food has been included in this recall, do not feed any more of the possibly tainted food to your cat or dog.
Double bag the recalled food in trash bags and bring the food to the store where it was purchased for a refund or a new bag of food. I’ve found that not all stores are aware of this recall, so I’d recommend that you print out a copy of the official recall notice from the Mars Petcare website and bring that along to the store.
In addition, you’ll need to take some serious precautions when handling this recalled cat food and dog food. Salmonella is one of the few illnesses that can be transmitted between humans and pets.
After handling the food, you must wash your hands with antibacterial soap. You should also take measures to disinfect your pet’s bowls, pet food food storage containers, pet food scoops and anything else that’s come in direct contact with the recalled pet food. I discuss the steps for decontaminating a pet food container and pet bowls in this article.
Symptoms of Salmonella in Cats and Dogs
If you find that your pet’s food has been recalled, you will need to be on the alert when it comes to the symptoms of salmonella. Salmonella causes similar symptoms in humans and pets: vomiting, diarrhea (often, bloody diarrhea), dehydration, lethargy, loss of appetite and even death.
Salmonella can be very severe and many pets do die from salmonella, especially if the illness is ignored or left untreated. So it’s important to seek immediate help for a pet if you suspect that salmonella or any other illness is affecting your pet.
For more tips on handling pet emergencies, check out this article on PetLvr.com – [The Blog]