Monday, March 19, 2007

Pet food recall

The veterinary community has been all over the big pet food recall announced a few days ago. Menu Foods, a manufacturer of about 50 brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food, recalled about 60 million cans of wet food and pouches. Some ingredient, possibly wheat gluten used in the gravy of "chunks and gravy"-type foods, may be causing pets to go into acute kidney failure. The problem has the potential to be quite devastating... So far there are 10 confirmed cases, but they were all animals involved in a feeding study. 10 out of 50 animals in the study died- a 20% mortality rate. Yikes. Hopefully this isn't as bad as it sounds like it could be... I would be so sick with guilt if something I fed Winnie killed her. The companies (Iams, Petsmart, etc) seem to be on top of things, paying for treatment of any pets that became ill after eating the recalled food. If you think your pet ate recalled food, CALL YOUR VET to see what he/she recommends, and SAVE THE PACKAGE... Without it, you have no proof your pet ate recalled food, and the food companies may not reimburse you for treatment. It's going to take Nutro and Iams years to recover from this, if they ever do...

What does this say about the pet food industry? I don't really know yet. I choose not to feed Win one of the "big name" foods (Science Diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Purina) mainly because I think they are overpriced for what you get. Corn is definitely digestible, but it's also a really cheap carb source- why would I pay the same price for a corn-based food as for a rice-based food when a) rice is a more expensive carb source and b) rice is more digestible? I honestly just like how Winnie does on Eagle Pack, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. She has a nice coat, good energy, good poops, and she enjoys the food. The main benefit of feeding a big name brand is that their quality control is ridiculously good because when things like this happen, it costs the company a bundle to clean up. But alas, quality control doesn't catch everything I guess. I don't think it says anything about the quality of food these guys make, or that something like this could never happen to super premium brands like Innova, Eagle Pack, etc. I think it's just pure bad luck, like the spinach E. coli outbreak, or the salmonella in peanut butter. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Pray for any sick critters who are in the hospital tonight trying to recover from whatever this is.

Totally unrelated to the food recall, this is a fun little toy... The Baby Name Wizard can show you how popular your name has been over the years. "Megan" hit its peak popularity in the 1980's/1990's (thank you The Thorn Birds), while "Chris" was most popular in the early 1960's 1970's 1980's and 1990's. "Winnie" was most popular in the 1890's. "Bjorn", however, has never been among the most popular 1000 names (sorry Bjorn).

(and no, I am not looking at baby names... someone just linked to it on a rabbit forum, I swear!)

1 comment:

dwatland said...

Daniel has not been out of the top 20 since the 50's and has been in the top 10 since the 80's. In the current year it is #7.