Jerky Treat Investigation Responses
August 29, 2012 4:42 PM
- Despite ongoing testing since 2007, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration – the government authority we look to for food safety information – has determined no definitive cause of the reported dog illnesses and no direct link between the reported illnesses and China-sourced chicken jerky products. Neither the FDA nor our suppliers have recommended any recalls of chicken jerky products. For our customers who prefer an alternative to jerky products manufactured in China, we are actively expanding our selection of these types of products manufactured in other locations. For example, we offer Colorado Natural Jerky Treats, which are manufactured in the U.S. We also offer a variety of other natural treat and chew options. We continue to monitor the situation closely for any new information. All of us at Petco are committed to the health and well-being of animals, and we require that all of our suppliers meet our high standards for product safety and quality assurance.
- Update 8/29/12:
We continue to look to the FDA for food safety information and guidance. If and/or when they request a recall of any product, we would certainly act accordingly. In the meantime, we have publicly shared information about Chicken Jerky products with our customers at petco.com/jerky; and, for our customers who prefer an alternative to jerky products manufactured in China, we are continuing to expand our selection of jerky treats and other products manufactured in the United States.
- · As a practice, PetSmart stays current on information issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and manufacturers of products we carry in our stores and online. Information from both the FDA and product manufacturers is reviewed swiftly and any recommended enhancements or changes to business practices specific to a product are implemented immediately.PetSmart is aware of the FDA release on November 18th titled, “FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners about Chicken Jerky Products.” Included in this cautionary warning, the FDA advises that “Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.” The FDA has conducted chemical and microbiological testing, which has not identified a contaminant in any chicken jerky product, and product remains available at PetSmart stores and online.As noted by the FDA, chicken jerky products are intended for intermittent supplemental feeding and should not be substituted for a complete and balanced diet. Like any other product, we recommend pet parents use the product in a proper manner in accordance with the product’s label and watch the dog closely. If a dog shows any of the following signs (which may occur within hours of feeding the product), the pet parent should discontinue feeding of the product immediately and take the pet to see a veterinarian:
- · Decreased appetite. Note that some dogs may continue to eat the treats instead of other foods.
- · Increased water drinking or increased urination
- · Decreased activity
- · Vomiting
- · Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
PetSmart will continue to monitor all sources of information and take action if necessary.
Waggin’ Train / Canyon Creek Ranch / Nestle Purina
- · Waggin’ Train brand chicken jerky treats for dogs are safe to feed as directed. The FDA has extensively tested chicken jerky treats and has not found any contaminants, nor a definitive cause for reported pet illnesses.
The FDA’s Nov. 18, 2011 CVM Update stated that “Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities,”and also stated, “Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.” As with all dog treats, consumers are reminded to read and follow the feeding guidelines on the package.
- · Update 8/29/12:
Millions of happy, healthy dogs enjoy chicken jerky treats every year. Our treats are safe to feed as directed. The FDA has extensively tested chicken jerky treats for five years and has not found any contaminants, nor a definitive cause for reported pet illnesses. Regarding the inspections… the August 15 FDA report clearly states that “the inspections provided valuable information on the firms’ jerky treat manufacturing operations … The FDA found no evidence that these firms’ jerky pet treats are the cause of pet illnesses in the United States.”
We will continue to cooperate fully with FDA to assist in its investigation.
Milo’s Kitchen / Del Monte Corp.
- Here at Milo’s Kitchen™, we are pet parents too and we understand that the information that has been released regarding the FDA warning about chicken jerky made in China is confusing and concerning. We want to provide reassurance that Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky treats have not been recalled nor are being recalled. The current FDA warning regarding chicken jerky is not associated with any particular brand and to date the FDA and other agencies have been unable to identify any definitive cause or connection between any illness and the treats in question. Despite extensive testing, no contaminants have ever been found.Our nutritious, quality ingredients meet the stringent standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each of our products is processed and packaged following strict quality control procedures that comply with the Good Manufacturing Practices established by the FDA. The creation of Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky undergoes a 17-step process at the factory, marked by detailed quality controls and thorough checkpoints along the way. Further, each ingredient must pass additional testing and is rechecked at the conclusion of every phase to ensure it meets or exceeds its specific standards for that level. Our Quality Assurance Program is based upon standards compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative and the FDA.
- Update 8/29/12:
Milo’s Kitchen informs our manufacturing plants of consumer feedback and complaints that we receive. Pet parents can feel confident in treating their dogs with Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky. We put Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky through a detailed 17-step safety process, where it is required to pass quality testing during every single phase. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA have identified no link between illness and chicken jerky treats.
- At DOGSWELL, we take the safety of our products very seriously, whether they are made here or abroad, as we, too, are pet parents and feed our treats and food to our own dogs. As such, we hold our manufacturing facilities to very high standards and are compliant with FDA guidelines.We also take added precautions such as using a 3rdparty, U.S.-based auditor that routinely conducts unscheduled audits of our manufacturing facilities, testing not only the quality of the products being produced, but also the processes by which they are made and the condition of the facility itself.Whenever we hear from consumers, we always follow up within 24 hours in order to investigate the situation, oftentimes speaking directly with the veterinarian’s office. We sell thousands of treats every day in the U.S. yet we have not noticed any trend or pattern in complaints that would lead us to believe that our products are unsafe.We are always open to feedback on the quality of our products, whether they are from consumers or the FDA, and we will continue to do so.
- The FDA responds directly to any requests from Congress.No specific products have been recalled and we have not barred importation because a definitive cause has not been determined. The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. If the FDA identifies the cause, the agency will take appropriate action and notify the public.There is nothing preventing a company from conducting a voluntary recall. It is important to understand that unless a contaminant is detected and we have evidence that a product is adulterated, we are limited in what regulatory actions we can take. The regulations don’t allow for products to be removed based on complaints alone. This is an ongoing investigation and FDA will notify the public if a recall is initiated. Currently, FDA continues to urge pet owners to use caution with regard to jerky pet treat products.