This just in: Another pet treat company snared in the illegal drug residue Chinese chicken scandal: Hartz.
The Hartz Mountain Corporation announced Friday the recall of its imported treats Hartz Chicken Chews and Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken for dogs because they contain trace amounts of illegal antibiotic residue.
Hartz own testing found trace amounts of illegal antibiotic residue in samples of the recalled chicken treats. Hartz reassured consumers that despite the finding consumers can rest easy because, “Even though two-thirds of the products we tested did not contain antibiotic residues, we would rather be overly cautious by voluntarily withdrawing these products from the market.”
Translation: “Even though we found illegal crap in 1/3 of the treats we tested, out of the kindness of our hearts we are recalling all the Chicken Chews and Pig Skin Twist” Aaw. Isn’t that wonderful?
Like Nestle-Purina, Del Monte and now Hartz explain, “These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S.”
Think about it, they are illegal in the U.S. for a reason.
But because the FDA does not believe the illegal drug residues pose a health risk and are unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats, this recall will probably only qualify for a Class lll recall.
Class lll recalls are not posted on the FDA website unless the recalling corporation voluntarily provides the with the recalling information. Del Monte did, but Puina didn’t – so Milo’s Kitchen treat recall was placed on the FDA website and Purina’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch pet treats escaped the embarrassment.
Hartz continues, “There is no indication that the trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products produced in China. The trace amounts of antibiotic residue do not pose a health or pet safety risk.” That is, unless your dog has an allergy to sulfonamides, then you’re in a heap o’ trouble.
Estimates that 3% to 10% of the general population suffer from a hypersensitivity to sulfonamides, including dogs. Dogs in particular are poor acetylators of sulfonamides in general and as anyone with an allergy knows it only takes a trace amount to set off a reaction. For example, a physician with whom I consulted regarding my hypothesis, said a patient of hers who has a severe peanut allergy who merely slept on a couch where peanuts had been eaten was enough to trigger an allergic reaction and land her in the ER.
Consumers who have questions regarding the recalled products are asked to contact the Hartz Consumer Affairs team (24 hours/day 7 days/week) at 1-800-275-1414 for a product refund or go to http://www.hartz.com for additional information.
For more information, please visit: A Veterinarian On Possible Cause of China Jerky Treats Illnesses and Deaths, Thought-Provoking Theories from Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM