Two major manufacturers of pet treat products are pulling several popular brands from the market because they may contain traces of poultry antibiotics that are not approved in the U.S.
On Wednesday, Nestle Purina PetCare announced the company is voluntarily withdrawing Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats off the market, until further notice. Officials at Milo's Kitchen, which is owned by the Del Monte Corp. of San Francisco, also announced they are voluntarily recalling the firm's Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retaillers nationwide.
Both companies took action after the The move came after the New York Department of Agriculture and Marketing told federal Food and Drug Administration veterinary officials this week that trace amounts of residual poultry antibiotics had been found in several lots of each of the brands of jerky treat products.
The treat products, made in China, contain very low levels of four antibiotics that are not approved for use in poultry in the U.S. and one antibiotic that is approved for U.S. poultry use, but is limited to nearly undetectable levels in the finished product. A New York Department of Agriculture spokesman, Joe Morrissey, said the antibiotics include sulfaclozine, tilmicosin, trimethoprim, enrofloxacin and sulfaquinoxaline.
There have been reports of pet illness linked to jerky treats made in China that date back to 2007. The Food and Drug Administration says reports of sick pets connected to jerky treats, particularly chicken jerky treats made in China, have been increasing for years. Chinese-made jerky pet treats may have sickened more than 2,200 pets, including 360 dogs and one cat, according to one consumer report. Symptoms reported to the FDA include gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as kidney problems, which can cause dogs to drink and urinate more than usual.
The FDA has launched an investigation, but the agency said no definitive cause had been identified yet. FDA officials also said they were confident that the detection of antibiotics "do not raise health concerns," and that they are "highly unlikely" to be related to the reports of pet illness linked to jerky treats, according to a statement published late Wednesday.
In a statement from Nestle Purina-Waggin’ Train, the company president, Nina Leigh Krueger, said “All of us at Waggin’ Train care deeply about pets and their owners, and the quality of our products is of the utmost importance. 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.”
The general manager of Milo's Kitchen, Rob Leibowitz, also issued a statement, saying “Pet safety and consumer confidence in our products are our top priorities, 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.”
For Waggin' Train product refund or more information, consumers can call 1-800-982-0704 or go to www.waggintrainbrand.com.
For Milo's Kitchen product refund or more information, consumers can call 1-877-228-6493.