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Author Topic: Pet Food Recall Timeline  (Read 8216 times)
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Hero Member
Posts: 10517

My RB Angels Elvis, 1991-2010, and Twit, 2001-2010

« on: January 21, 2008, 08:36:23 AM »

Summer 2006:
FDA believes first batches of tainted food may have entered the US.
October - November, 2006:
Tainted wheat gluten arrives from China at Long Beach Port, then is shipped to Kansas.
November 8, 2006:
Menu Foods switches gluten suppliers (to a Chinese company) through a broker based in Kansas.
December 6, 2006:
Originally reported date by Menu Foods on when contaminated wheat gluten was used. Since changed to 11/8/06.
Late December, 2006:
Menu Foods may have started receiving complaints that its food is making some pets sick.
February 20, 2007:
Menu Foods receives the first of 6 customer reports that its food is making pets sick.
February 27, 2007:
As a part of its quarterly feeding trials, Menu Foods feeds their product to 40-50 cats and dogs.
Menu Foods CFO sells 12,700 of his Menu Foods shares.
March 2, 2007:
The first of 9 animals in Menu Foods feeding trial dies of acute renal failure. Mortality rate is quoted at 1 in 6.
March 6, 2007:
Menu Foods switches its supply of wheat gluten due to lab animal deaths.
Kansas plant continues to operate.
March 13, 14 or 15, 2007:

Prior to the recall, Cornell receives samples for testing from Menu Foods. (Note: Date conflicts AP report)
NY State Food Laboratory receives samples for testing.
March 16, 2007:
Menu Foods announces its recall of 60 million containers of food related to the deaths of lab animals.
Media does not report these as lab-based deaths nor do they report the mortality rate.
Menu Foods’ Web site is taken down and cannot be accessed.
Menu Foods stock MEW.UN drops 45% by the close of trading day.
Menu Foods estimate the recall costs at US$25-$34 million.
March 17, 2007:
Menu Foods posts its first recall list in the morning.
Links to the remainder of the original site is removed from view.
Consumers report encountering busy signals for their toll-free numbers. Those who do get through report that agents are taking messages for Menu Foods and checking products purchased against the recall list.
March 18, 2007:
Itchmo analysis indicates possible ARF in 74,000 pets.
March 19, 2007:
Menu Foods announces their enhanced Web site and customer service capabilities.
Callers report no change in their ability to access the hotlines.
Menu Foods recall list is changed. 6 brands are added and 1 is removed from the recall list.
Class action lawsuit group is formed on Yahoo.
FDA announces that the 60 million recalls packages amount to 1% of the US pet food supply.
March 20, 2007:’s self-reporting database (for pet owners affected by Menu Foods) gathers 241 reports of deaths.
FDA announces that the 9 reported deaths only include those from the Menu Foods feeding trial.
2 brands are added to the recall list. Canadian brands appear on the recalled brands list.
Official death toll is revised to 14 including 1 dog and 13 cats. This is the first official death toll that includes pets not included in the Menu Foods quarterly feeding trial.
March 21, 2007:
First lawsuits are filed in Chicago and Knoxville, TN.
PetConnection’s self-reported database logs more than 500 deaths.
Pet Food Accountability Petition is launched on
March 22, 2007:
PetConnection’s self-reported database logs 845 deaths by the end of the day.
Analyst and veterinarian estimates of deaths hit “thousands”.
March 23, 2007:
First class-action lawsuit against Menu Foods is filed by a Seattle attorney and an Oregon family.
The substance aminopterin is found in the recalled foods.
The suspected wheat gluten is imported from China.
A press-conference is held by Menu Foods and the USDA.
PetConnection’s self-reported database logs more than 1,000 deaths.
Menu Foods announces that it will compensate expenses associated with its tainted food.
Menu Foods announces that its Kansas plant will shut down for 2-3 days to realign its production mix.
Menu Foods stock rises 25%.
Kroger pulls all Menu Foods products, not just recalled brands, out of caution.
March 24, 2007:
PetConnection reports 1,541 deaths.
Menu Foods asks retailers to remove entire brands, not just specific UPC codes. Pet parents debate whether to believe Menu Foods categorization that it is not an expansion of the recall.
March 26, 2007:

An email describing the details of the Menu Foods feeding trial and its outcomes are published by the Sacramento Bee. Vets suspect long-term affects and shortened lifespans for sickened pets.
PetConnection’s database logs 1,871 deaths.
New Jersey plant has been confirmed under investigation, yet remains open.
Cornell reports to the FDA that they found melamine, but no aminopterin.
March 27, 2007:

Media reports (including the AP) begin to quote the Veterinary Information Network’s count of 471 sick and 104 dead.
Congressional leaders request information from the FDA and Menu Foods.
Menu Foods recall costs are estimated to exceed original numbers by the millions. And litigation risk is downplayed.
ASPCA says that aminopterin may not be the only toxin.
Menu Foods stock (MEW.UN) closes at 4.10.
Cornell again reports to the FDA that they found melamine, but no aminopterin.
March 28, 2007:

Scientific American summarizes the toxin search as well as the timing of events.
Catmanager notes state by state veterinary agency reaction.
Canadian vets begin tracking deaths and illnesses.
PetConnection update: 2,237 deceased pets (1,257 cats, 980 dogs)
NBC Nightly News reports on increased count.
March 30, 2007: reports in the morning: 2,447 deaths (1,327 cats; 1080 dogs)
Cornell and FDA announces that melamine was found in the food supply and tissue samples. They also said that aminopterin was not found.
They also announce that dry food may also be contaminated, but will not name the other manufacturer who used the wheat gluten from the same source.
Menu Foods holds a press conference, disputing or side stepping questions about their delayed response. Press release is also issued.
Hills recalls one dry cat food product within hours of the FDA statement — 2 weeks after the initial recall.
Purina releases a late-night recall message for its ALPO brand wet food not made by Menu Foods, but made using the same supply of wheat gluten.
FDA prohibits import of wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company Ltd. through an import warning. The US broker who imported the wheat gluten is not named.
March 31, 2007:

Itchmo discovers that Menu Foods has removed the hidden Web site information that was unlinked when the original recall was announced.
Del Monte announces recall of wet food and treats due to the use of the same wheat gluten. Affected brands are: Ol’Roy, Jerky Treats, Gravy Train Beef Sticks, Pounce Meaty Morsels, Dollar General, and Happy Tails.
Pet Connection database: (3/31 8:45 p.m. PT): 2,797 deceased pets (1,546 cats and 1,251 dogs)
AP reports much higher incidences of cat deaths. And quotes the FDA as saying “there was a sizable amount of melamine. You could see crystals in the wheat gluten.”
April 1, 2007:

Blogs find the FDA import warning against the Chinese supplier. Traditional media picks up the news.
Del Monte confirms that the imported wheat gluten was marked available for human consumption.
FDA notes that the melamine particles were visible in the wheat gluten in concentrations as high as 6.6%.
Senator Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) issue a statement asking for better food protection and criticizes the FDA.
April 2, 2007:
Poll: 68% of Itchmo readers blame the pet food makers for the tragedy.
Kansas Menu Foods plant restarts operations.
PETA asks FDA commissioner to resign.
First major pet food brand defects from Menu Foods.
Possible second exporter of tainted wheat gluten identified.
April 3, 2007:
FDA cannot rule out more recalls. And Nestle says it only took them 4 hours to track down the wheat gluten.
Newspaper reports tainted wheat gluten sold to human food makers.
April 4, 2007:

Anderson Cooper 360 starts its recall coverage.
Speculation on a third suspect — vitamin D — begins.
ChemNutra recalls all of the suspected wheat gluten batches.
Xuzhou Anying’s facilities shown on CNN.
Menu Foods sued for fraud in class-action.
Scientists still debate the suspected toxins.
April 5, 2007:

Menu Foods expands recall dates.
Sunshine Mills treats recalled.
Senator Durbin (D-IL) announces congressional hearings.
FDA investigating if someone contaminated the wheat gluten on purpose to make extra profit
China begins investigating wheat gluten.
FDA says, no more wheat gluten recalls.
April 6, 2007:
Del Monte announces expanded recall, contradicting the FDA.
Oregon and Michigan reports at least 89 dead, 263 sick.
April 9, 2007:

First confirmed discovery of melanine in non-recalled food (UC Davis).
April 10, 2007:

Menu Foods expands recall due to contamination of Canadian plant.
Menu Foods recall forces Royal Canin to recall its Medi-Cal product.
(Approximate date) Wilbur-Ellis, pet feed supplier, imports rice protein concentrate. It is sold to 5 companies, including Diamond Pet Food and 1 other “major” pet food manufacturer.
April 11, 2007:

IHT reports Xuzhou Anying may have been shopping for melamine.
Cornell lab reports second, unidentified toxin.
April 12-17: 2007:

Natural Balance changes their ingredients list in products containing venison.
April 13, 2007:
Natural Balance suspects problems with their venison formulas containing rice protein concentrate.
April 15, 2007:
Itchmo is first to report that Natural Balance is recalling 2 products.
Rice protein importer notifies the FDA that it found melamine in imported rice protein.
April 17, 2007:
Itchmo is first to break news that Natural Balance recall expands to canned food and treats containing rice protein concentrate.
US supplier says tainted rice protein concentrate came from this company in China.
Menu Foods expands recall. Again.
April 19, 2007:

Blue Buffalo recalls food due to melamine in rice protein.
April 20, 2007:
Royal Canin Canada triggers first recall triggered by cyanuric acid.
Royal Canin US recalls food tainted with melamine in rice protein.
April 23, 2007:
Two senators say there’s a second source of tainted rice protein.
April 24, 2007:
FDA begins testing other ingredients.
Chickens may have consumed surplus tainted pet food.
Pig contamination spreads to several states.
US congress holds hearing on food safety.
April 26-27, 2007:
Dozens of brands recalled due to American Nutrition’s use of tainted rice protein concentrage from Wilbur-Ellis.
As recalls begin, FDA pleads ignorance of recalls.
Canadian university says they may have found cause of kidney failures.


Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
Hero Member
Posts: 3200

« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 03:46:31 PM »

I have my own timeline but I'll just put my first entry here---this email was sent at 5:17am on March 17, 2007 to after staying awake all night to check their website---the first thing they said to do---I continued to do what they said to do until May 20th----what a fool I was!  and since the website was still working on March 18th--- and the phone was busy for the better part of 24 hours, I called my local nbc station for them to call through on the media line and he got through---and they told him they were going take care of all the pets affected!   Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I am saddened to hear of your press release 10 days after there was known to have a problem.  I have 2 very ill cats , one who may die in the hospital at xxxxxxx  Animal Hospital in xxxx, RI, and one who I have at home giving potassium, Pepcid and trying to keep alive.  They both were fed Special Kitty for the last few years bought at WalMart in North Kingstown, RI.  I have the expectation of safe food when I buy unopened cat food and am in the middle of also caring for my golden retriever who has cancer and is undergoing chemo and radiation at xxxx in xxxx, MA.  I don't need this added emotional stress nor the financial burden of my cats suffering from"unexplained sudden renal failure".  I and my vet now know why!  I wish I knew 10 days ago as this may have saved my beloved "Smudge".  Her bills alone so far are over $600.00 and my "Jessica" is running over $250.00.  I expect some sort of response from your company. 
Carol Vxxxxxx
West Kingston, RI 
phone# 401xxxxxxxx

ps---no response to date
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 04:03:29 PM by Carol » Logged

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

United we stand     Divided we fall....
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 08:14:02 PM »


I love Poco's it ok if I pinch his cheeks & kiss his little nose? Wink
Hero Member
Posts: 10517

My RB Angels Elvis, 1991-2010, and Twit, 2001-2010

« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 01:09:28 PM »

Wiki has a timeline for anyone doing research.  Haven't had a chance to read through it yet.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 01:16:20 PM »

I would love to see this timeline expanded to include the 2004 deaths in Asia and Mars saying "we told everyone in 2007" and most everyone saying "no they didn't".
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