Problem pet food pulled from shelves

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You pet's favorite gravy-laden meal may not be available the next time you shop.

More than 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food sold under a number of brand names were recalled by Menu Foods of Ontario on the heels of the death of at least 10 cats and kidney disease found in a number of others.

The long list of wet, gravy-style dog and cat foods being recalled include such locally-available brands as Iams, Eukenuba, Hill's Science Diet, Sophisticat and popular Wal-Mart brands like Ol' Roy and Special Kitty.

It's been another weekend of clearing shelves of potentially problematic merchandise for Greenville Wal-Mart Super Center Manager Bill McCrary and his crew.

&#8220We are just about getting things straight with the peanut butter recall (by ConAgra). And this came along,” McCrary said on Tuesday.

&#8220We've pulled all the products that could be a problem – basically, anything that could be a potential problem is now off our shelves.”

A toll-free number has been provided by Menu Foods to customers who have any questions concerning the recall, which does not affect any of their dry pet foods.

Menu Foods is recalling only certain gravy-style pet foods in cans and pouches made from Dec. 3, 2006 to March 6, 2007.

In a March 18 article in The New York Times, Menu Foods spokeswoman Sarah Tuite said the timing of the reported deaths has been associated with Menu Food's use of a new supplier for wheat gluten, a source of protein.

The reported deaths of pets have been from kidney disease, according to Ms. Tuite.

Symptoms have included lethargy, jaundice and vomiting.

While it is not known if any dogs have been affected, the recalled dog food was made in the same plant as the suspect cat food.

At Watson Animal Clinic in Greenville, there have been no cases linked to the pet food recall, although a spokesperson for the clinic said they have received a number of phone calls asking for information about the recall.

McCrary says he realizes just how important their pets are to many of his Wal-Mart customers.

&#8220We realize for a lot of folks their pets are like their children, they are a member of their family.

You don't want them to get ill or suffer if you can help it.”

McCrary said he hoped the situation would soon be rectified &#8220and we can start restocking our shelves again.”

Menu Foods can be contacted by calling 1-866-895-2708 or on the Internet at The company's Website also provides information for pet owners who have lost an animal on how to make a claim for compensation.