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Author Topic: Salmonella in Merrick Dog Treats  (Read 7023 times)
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Carol
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« on: January 14, 2010, 04:21:30 PM »

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/pawprintpost/post/2010/01/dog-treat-alert-salmonella-findings-cause-fda-warnings/1

http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2010/01/14/salmonella-prompts-pull-of-merrick-beef-filet-squares/

   The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of “Best By 111911” because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

    The product was distributed nationwide through retail stores and Internet sales.

    Although no illnesses associated with these products have been reported, the FDA is advising consumers in possession of these products not to handle or feed them to their pets.

   In December 2009, the FDA conducted routine testing of Merrick Beef Filet Squares and detected a positive finding for Salmonella. A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes.

    Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

     The affected Merrick Beef Filet Squares were packaged in a 10-ounce green, red and tan re-sealable plastic bag. The “best by” date is imprinted on the top portion of the bag, which is torn off when the bag is opened. The FDA recommends that consumers who are unable to determine the “best by” date discontinue use of the product.


http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm197700.htm
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 04:29:42 PM by Carol » Logged

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menusux
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 05:54:28 PM »

Not a word on the Merrick website, BTW:

http://www.merrickpetcare.com

http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/dog_treats.php

http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/dog_treats_filets.php

http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/treats_detail.php?c=25&s=60016


The price of a 10 oz package of these is $13.35......
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JJ
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 09:52:11 PM »

Wow they top price of lung treats from WF. Salmonella and listeria seem to be all over lately.
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Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 05:36:06 AM »

Sure would be nice to see some food company prosecuted by our food safety authorities for
violation of the Reportable Food Registry if they don't attempt to notify consumers of a real
health hazard.
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purringfur
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 10:03:31 AM »

Isn't it lovely that the "best buy" date information is on the tear-off strip?  The coding should be moved to the back or bottom of the package.  How will a consumer know??

I don't feed the dog treats, but I feed my cat Merrick canned Cowboy Cookout (beef).  I called and asked if the canned beef cat and dog foods were affected.  She said "no."   When you call, a CS rep transfers you to another rep when she finds out you're calling about the contamination.  I heard the "voluntary withdraw" line and usually only pets/people who are really sick to start with get sick from Salmonella...  Just wash your hands, etc.  Huh?

She also said that Merrick found the salmonella.  My email says the FDA did:

"In December 2009, the FDA conducted routine testing of Merrick Beef Filet Squares and detected a positive finding for Salmonella. A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes."

Well, I don't trust any pet food company after 2007, so I'm stopping the Cowboy Cookout and will feed turkey and home-cooked  chicken.  Even though the food is a treat and what I feed is canned, both prepared in a different manner, who knows if this problem is isolated to that particular lot of treats??  

I also mentioned there was NOTHING on the web site to warn consumers.  She said that if it was required to post something, she's sure they would be posting something.  I said posting on the web site is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do.  

I wonder if the FDA tested the canned cat and dog food containing beef??

Those treats are expensive.  People could buy their dogs a Porterhouse steak, 4 pounds of bottom roast, or 5 pounds of ground beef.  Plus, they'd know how safely the meat was cooked!

Oh, she also said they're getting bombarded with phone calls (as they should).  I can't see what I'm typing now, so better run.  I'm interested in seeing how Merrick handles this.  I may or may not continue to be a customer...
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menusux
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 11:14:43 AM »

Checked the links above on the Merrick website and there's still nothing on it anywhere about the recall of the treats.  Angry

What's even more aggravating (if that's possible) is that Merrick is on Twitter and their last tweet was January 7 about their donations of food to various shelters and feeding programs.

While it's nice to see their charitable work, I think they surely could have tweeted about the possibility of salmonella in their beef filet dog treats by now, even if it was to try reporting it with a positive spin.

http://twitter.com/merrickpetcare

SHELTER NEWS - Merrick donates 8 pallets of dry (7200 lbs.) and canned (132 cases) food to DAWGS. That's a lot of happy dogs in North Texas
1:55 PM Jan 7th from web


There's the last tweet from Merrick and a link to them on Twitter.  Roll Eyes
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 01:20:16 PM »

http://petsitusa.com/blog/?p=2925

Merrick issues “voluntary witdrawal” of dog treats
by Therese on January 15, 2010

in Dogs, Pet Food Recall

Here’s the latest from Merrick – you’ll find a link to it on the front page of their website:

Merrick Issues Voluntary Withdraw of Beef Filet Squares
Lot Code: 9323

01.15.2010

MERRICK NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: January 15, 2010

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menusux
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 01:47:30 PM »

Merrick's salmonella history:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061014042637/http://www.fda.gov/cvm/Documents/HHEGoNatural.pdf

This is a report from 2004 detailing an incident at Merrick in 2003--at the time--(don't know if they still are) co packing Petcurean.  I see they also are the co packers for Beef and More--that's made by Merrick and that's where someone found the plastic:

http://www.itchmo.com/texas-dog-owner-finds-piece-of-plastic-in-beef-n-more-dog-food-4481

The deaths and illnesses have never been explained--they know there was liver involvement and something was causing hemolytic anemia:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemolytic_anemia
 
Page 6 says this was what was found along with overformulation of BHA in some samples:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudomonas_aeruginosa

Merrick had salmonella contamination in 2002:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061014151940/http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/enforce/2003/ENF00780.html

FDA Enforcement Report January 23, 2003

PRODUCT

Merrick Brand Pet Treats Delicatessen Style Beef Steak Patties, packaged 75 treats per case. The case converts into a display container for retail sale. Treats are not individually wrapped, however, the case is shrink wrapped after closure. Recall # V-007-3.

CODE

Lot PG1621 recalled from Canada

RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER

Merrick Pet Care, Hereford, TX, by press release on September 19, 2002.
Firm initiated recall is complete.

REASON

Pet treats containing salmonella.

VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE

330 cases of 75 patties each.

DISTRIBUTION

Canada

The upshot of the FDA report is that no one seems to know why these pets took ill from eating Petcurean's Go Natural packed by Merrick.  Again, don't know if Petcurean is still using Merrick for their co packer or if they've gone on to someone else.  Looks like this is another one off my list for treats--the "short list" is getting smaller all the time.
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purringfur
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 02:18:44 PM »

I just saw the notice of the "voluntary withdrawl" of the dog treats on the Merrick home page with a "hot spot" to click for more information -- 20 cases in consumers' hands that couldn't be recovered.  It's good they put something up with the product photo.  And, it's good they're saying now that the FDA found the contamination and alerted Merrick, not that Merrick found the contamination and is pulling the product.  

I still dislike the wording of "voluntary withdrawls."  The wording makes it sound as if a company (any company, not just Merrick) is such a noble entity for trying to protect the public/pets by pulling a product, when in fact according to my understanding, the FDA tells the company to yank the product and the company must do so within a "reasonable" time frame.

Agree with Menusux.  Merrick should put up a Tweet about the withdrawl.  The pet sites had to do the tweeting to spread the word.  I received 2 alerts, and when I saw the word "Merrick," I raced to read about it.  

With a withdrawl of any type of product, the mainstream media should be notified so "crawlers" can go across the screen to alert consumers, since so many people get their news from TV.  Remember during the pet food poisonings how we pet owners urged CNN to roll all of the recalled pet food brands and varieties across the bottom of the screen 24 hrs. each day for an entire weekend and accomplished it?  That was so powerful to see -- no other news in the crawler but the pet food brands.  Now, that was consumer power in action!

Companies have to remember that the pet food poisonings were completely life altering for thousands and thousands of people.  Companies need to exert the same amount of energy and money both in good times to report postive aspects, as well as during times of crisis to communicate with consumers to report potential contamination, etc. -- nothing less!      

I just wonder if their other beef products for cats and dogs were FDA tested for potential contamination or if the FDA has been back to check on the packaging/other deficiencies??  A letter of assurance to that effect would be nice (and perhaps, posting some test results of the other beef products)??  I'm not taking a chance with my kitty.  

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Buy local.  Buy organic.
If you ate today, thank a farmer, hopefully a small, local farmer.

Remember the thousands & thousands of pets that died to give US a wake-up call about the safety of ALL food and products.
Carol
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 02:41:59 PM »

Merrick drops the ball...They should have put up the recall info as soon as the FDA notice came out (or even before) and put it on social media...they now are roaming the net reading blogs and posting! (Sommer at MerrickPetCare has posted at PC and Therese's site) and maybe here based on our criticisms..

and where is the QC?? If the FDA can find it...shouldn't they have?
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“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....
purringfur
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2010, 08:09:33 AM »

Yes, we have to question how long Merrick knew its product was contaminated.  The CS rep I spoke with yesterday said "this" all happened late last night...

If the FDA tested in December 2009 (early, mid, or late Dec.??) and Merrick pulled the dog treats in mid-January, we have to wonder when the testing was actually done, how long the results took, and when exactly Merrick was notified.  Our "business-friendly-and-to-h#%&-with-the-consumer" laws in the U.S. allow the offending company to keep their cwap on the shelves as long as possible as long as they recall the product within a "reasonable" time frame, what ever "reasonable" is deemed to be.  

Waiting even one day more after being notified by authorities of contamination is TOO LONG for me.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 11:55:37 AM by purringfur » Logged

Buy local.  Buy organic.
If you ate today, thank a farmer, hopefully a small, local farmer.

Remember the thousands & thousands of pets that died to give US a wake-up call about the safety of ALL food and products.
3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2010, 08:38:09 AM »

Since the company isn't talking about when notices were done, does anyone know how long Salmonella testing
ordinarily takes to get a positive or negative, not necessarily serotyping of particular strain, but just a positive/negative culture?
Based on prior inquiries to FDA/CVM, does anyone have a clue how long the government version takes?
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purringfur
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2010, 09:13:05 AM »

3cat, I don't have time to read this closely, but it looks as though 8 hours is the length of time it takes to detect salmonella, both for the commercial rapid-detection test "currently in use" and the "molecular beacon" lab-developed test...

From usda.gov - article dated 2006

"Rapid Salmonella Test May Reduce Meat and Produce Recalls"  

http://www.ars.usda.gov/IS/pr/2006/060317.htm

"Food technologist Jitu Patel with the ARS Food Technology and Safety Laboratory, and microbiologist Arvind Bhagwat with the ARS Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory, in Beltsville, Md., compared their laboratory-developed “molecular beacon” test to a commercial rapid-detection test currently in use. While both tests can detect Salmonella in eight hours, the laboratory test is less expensive than commercial kits."

Perhaps now, three+ years later, even more sophisticated Salmonella tests are being used.

Oops: spelling of "Beacon"
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 11:44:30 AM by purringfur » Logged

Buy local.  Buy organic.
If you ate today, thank a farmer, hopefully a small, local farmer.

Remember the thousands & thousands of pets that died to give US a wake-up call about the safety of ALL food and products.
JJ
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Posts: 8531


« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2010, 01:36:14 AM »

One day to not recall or suspend sales could be hundreds of animals sick or dead - but their bank accounts still register SALE so why suspend/stop sales til its definate that a contaminate is found? This food also has franken food lecithin which is another word for soy that is 89% genetically modified, courtesy of Mobsanto. Weed killer with your soy anyone?
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May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
mainecoonpeg
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2010, 01:59:45 PM »

Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats, 10 oz. bags. Recall # V-057-2010
CODE
Best By 111911
RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER
Tejas Industries Inc., Hereford, TX, by letter dated January 11, 2010. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.
REASON
Product has the potential to contain Salmonella.
VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE
84 cases of 12 units each
DISTRIBUTION
RI, WA, MN, CA, TX, and MD
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