Two of the nation’s top pet treat brands have been forced to issue nationwide recall of their chicken jerky treat products after an illegal drug residue was found by the New York State Department of Agriculture. In a statement released today by Nestle-Purina Waggin’ Train announced the recall:
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company to voluntarily withdraw Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treat products
St. Louis, Missouri, January 9, 2013 . . . Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Waggin’ Train, LLC today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats sold in the United States until further notice.
The Company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky products. These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, when raising animals fit for human consumption. Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are safe to feed as directed. However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States. This finding does not pose a safety risk to pets.
New York State authorities initially requested that the Company remove Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats from retail locations in the state of New York, which we have agreed to do. In addition, because of the differences in U.S. and Chinese regulations, Nestlé Purina decided to conduct a nationwide voluntary withdrawal.
“All of us at Waggin’ Train care deeply about pets and their owners, and the quality of our products is of the utmost importance,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, President, Waggin’ Train LLC. “Waggin’ Train has served millions of pets and their owners very well. In the final analysis, our Company and our loyal consumers must have total confidence in the products we sell and feed our pets. Once we understand and determine how to comply with the technicalities of different regulatory frameworks, we will work with all appropriate parties to define the best way to supply the market.”
Nestlé Purina contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding NYSDAM’s findings. There is no indication that the trace amounts of antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products. The trace amounts of antibiotic residue (in the parts-per-billion range) do not pose a health or pet safety risk.
No other Purina treats or pet food products are affected by this withdrawal. In addition, Canyon Creek Ranch dog and cat foods, which are manufactured in the United States, are not included in this withdrawal.
For product refund or more information call our Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-982-0704 or go to www.waggintrainbrand.com.
Also today Milo’s Kitchen, Del Monte brand pet treats made a similar announcement on their website:
Milo’s Kitchen Recalls Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers Home-Style Dog Treats
San Francisco – January 9, 2013 – Milo’s Kitchen® today announced that it is voluntarily recalling its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailer shelves nationally. No other Milo’s Kitchen® products are affected.
On Monday, New York State’s Department of Agriculture informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Company that trace amounts of residual antibiotics had been found in several lots of Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Jerky. After consultation with the New York Department of Agriculture and FDA, the company decided to voluntarily recall Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers, which are both sourced from the same chicken suppliers.
The use of antibiotics to keep chickens healthy and disease-free while raising them is standard practice in poultry production for both human and pet food. However, the antibiotics found in the products were unapproved and should not be present in the final food product.
Milo’s Kitchen® has a comprehensive safety testing program in place for its products from procurement through manufacturing and distribution. Part of that program involves extensive testing for a wide range of substances commonly used to ensure the health of chickens. However, Milo’s Kitchen® did not test for all of the specific antibiotics found by the New York Department of Agriculture.
“Pet safety and consumer confidence in our products are our top priorities,” said Rob Leibowitz, general manager, Pet Products. “While there is no known health risk, the presence of even trace amounts of these antibiotics does not meet our high quality standards. Therefore, today we decided to recall both products and asked retailers to remove the products from their shelves.
“Consumers who discard the treats will receive a full refund,” said Leibowitz. “We are committed to Milo’s Kitchen® and stand by our guarantee of complete consumer satisfaction.”
Consumers with questions about Milo’s Kitchen products can get further information at 1-877-228-6493.
I spoke today with Donna DiCesare, the administrative assistant of commercial feed division of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, who informed me that another brand, not as widely known, has also been found to have the same type of illegal drug residue on its pet treats – IMS Pet Industries Cadet brand sold on Amazon through their Rawhide Depot Storefront.
She told me that testing is ongoing and other brands that import their chicken from China are being investigated. In addition, the data from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has been shared with the Center for Veterinary Medicine.
China’s agriculture and animal husbandry practices have come increased scrutiny recently after a year-long investigation revealed horrendous poultry plant conditions in China and the rampant use of multiple types of illegal antibiotics, hormones and antivirals in poultry feed led to the shake-up of three major US fast food brands, McDonalds, KFC and YUM brands, that sourced chicken from these shady chicken facilities in China.
A great BIG thanks to Susan Thixton of TruthAboutPetFood.com for giving me the fabulous news of the recall!
A HUGE thanks to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets!