dog nose knows peeking out of hole in fence

Silent withdrawal of Hill’s Science Diet canned dog foods; recall reason unknown

UPDATE: Hill’s is refusing to inform consumers what the reason was for the withdrawal (recall) of their Science Diet brand canned dog foods at PetSmart stores nationwide.

Calls to their customer service line have been leaving consumers scratching their heads in confusion.

So, I called Hill’s and although they were quick to assure me (at length) that the food in question is perfectly safe, yet, when I asked for the reason for the withdrawal, they told me they “don’t have that information.”  And they wanted to make sure I understood the fine difference between a “withdrawal” and a “recall.” That is an absolutely unacceptable explanation for a product recall (withdrawal – whatever).

BTW, PetSmart posted the wrong phone number on the notice. The correct phone number to call for customer service at Hill’s Science Diet is: 1 (800) 445-5777. The number posted on the notice at PetSmart is for vet’s offices and retailers only, not for end consumers.

Thanks to a sharp-eyed shopper, and friend of Susan Thixton at Truth About Pet Food, who spotted an ominous note taped on PetSmart shelves, we now have important information regarding the “voluntary withdrawal of a select number of Hill’s Science Diet canned dog foods.” (see notice here)

Reason? Unknown.

So far, not a peep from Hill’s Pet Nutrition or PetSmart.

The recall involves eight Science Diet canned dog food diets, including all date codes and best before dates.

The recalled products

Science Diet Dog Adult Perfect Weight 12.8 oz
SKU 5210092
UPC 5274229750
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Ideal Balance Slim & Healthy Chicken 12.8 oz
SKU 5210280
UPC 5274230770
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Adult Beef Entrée 5.8 oz.
SKU 5092280
UPC 5274249660
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Mature Beef Entrée 5.8 oz
SKU 5092282
UPC 5274249680
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Science Diet Dog Adult Beef Entrée 13 oz.
SKU 5117274
UPC 5274270390
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Science Diet Dog Adult Beef & Chicken Entrée 13 oz.
SKU 5117273
UPC 5274270400
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

Science Diet Dog Mature Beef Entrée 13 oz.
SKU 5117275
UPC 5274270560
All Date Codes/All Best Before Dates

What’s a silent recall?

It’s a sleazy trick the pet food industry uses to avoid the scrutiny and shame of an actual recall: The silent withdrawal.

They do it to avoid having to publicly admit there is a problem with their pet food, say, to the FDA for example, instead they quietly send a notice to the retailers to pull the product. It also helps them avoid the consequences of angry consumers with questions and concerns.

A dirty little secret

Simply put, it’s a dirty little secret to avoid warning the public of the danger associated with a faulty pet food if indeed that is the case. It’s commonly used to avoid lawsuits, avoid paying claims, loss of brand confidence and of course the accompanying loss of sales.

But, the most troubling aspect is, that there will be consumers who are unaware that they have a dog food sitting on their shelves at home that might be harmful to them or their dog. Or it could simply be a lebeling issue, we don’t know.

For questions, call Hill’s Customer Service Center at Hill’s Pet Nutrition at (800) 354-4557. An incorrect phone number was posted on the notices at Petsmart. The correct number is: (800) 445-5777.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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