The Hartz Mountain Corporation announced on January 25, 2013, that they are recalling two brands of dog treats, including Hartz Chicken Chews and Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken, due to trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that is unapproved for use in the United States. Hartz joins the list of three other brands recalled earlier this month for contamination with the same antibiotic residue. The other brands included on the list are Milo’s Kitchen, Nestle Purina’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, and Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treats.
At this time Hartz is recalling all Hartz Chicken Chews Soft and Tenders, all Hartz Chicken Chews Soft and Tender Bite Sized and all Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken.
According to the FDA – Recall Firm Press Release and the Hartz Mountain Corporation, Even though two-thirds of the products they tested did not contain antibotic residues, they would rather be overly cautious by voluntarily withdrawing these products from the market. Hartz also states that “Upon learning about the nationwide voluntary withdrawal of several other brands of chicken jerky products through media reports, Hartz acted immediately to begin additional testing to determine if the same unapproved antibiotic residues were present in our products,” said Sean McNear, Senior Director of Quality and Regulatory at Hartz Mountain.
The treats were all manufactured in China, where the antibiotic in question is approved for use. It is also approved in other countries, including European Union member states, but it has not been approved for use in the U.S.
The treats being recalled have not been linked to any specific pet or human illnesses. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been tracking pet illnesses and deaths related to chicken jerky pet treats manufactured in China since 2007. The FDA has received approximately 2,200 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. The majority of complaints have involved dogs, but cats have also been affected. Reports received by the FDA contain information of 360 canine deaths and one feline death. Although the FDA has been actively investigating the reports of illnesses, no definitive cause has been determined.
The recall notices and companies involved deny that there is any link between the antibiotic residue and the FDA's ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products produced in China. They further state that there is no pet health or safety risk related to these treats.
For more information customers may contact the Hartz Consumer Affairs team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 800-275-1414 or visit www.hartz.com.