Once again pet parents find themselves frantically checking lot numbers and tossing recalled pet food. The current pet food recall due to Salmonella contamination continues to include more and more brands and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has even sickened people who have handled the pet food or the pet that ate it (1). It is scary to think we might be unknowingly feeding a beloved member of our family a food that might harm them. Here are some tips to make sure your dog or cat’s food has not been recalled and to choose a brand that is far less likely to be recalled in the future.
Is Your Pet’s Food Included in Latest Recall?
Obviously, the first thing to do is check to see if the food you are feeding your dog or cat has been recalled. Lots of pet bloggers and other media (2) write about such recalls, but you can see a full list from the Food and Drug Administration (3). Here are the brands included in the latest recall:
▪ Canidae ▪ Wellness ▪ Costco Kirkland
▪ Diamond ▪ Diamond Naturals ▪ Apex
▪ Country Value Premium Edge ▪ Solid Gold
You can also go to the website of the company that makes your pet food. Look for any news or recall announcement, or a phone number to call them directly. They should be able to quickly tell you if any of their foods are recalled. If your pet’s food is on the list, stop feeding it immediately.
How Does Your Pet Food Brand Ensure Safety?
If your brand is not on the above list or on the FDA’s website – great! There is no need to abruptly switch pet foods. Instead you can do some research and ask tough questions of the company that makes your brand. This will help you assess the risk of future recalls with the food you are feeding.
In addition to finding out where the food is made and where all the ingredients come from, ask what steps the company takes to ensure the food is safe for your pets to eat. This gets to the issue that led to this latest pet food recall due to Salmonella contamination. Nature’s Logic avoids potential quality and contamination problems in three key ways.
1. We source and purchase all of our own ingredients, instead of allowing our manufacturing partners to make those decisions.
2. We use meats, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables that come from human-edible processing facilities. All our manufacturing plants are registered with the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. They are all AIB Certified and several are EU (European Union) Certified.
3. We use ingredients that have been tested for quality and purity to help alleviate any potential risk of pathogens, rancidity, or toxins.
Synthetic Vitamins & Minerals Common Reason for Pet Food Recalls
If your pet food brand is not recalled and the manufacturer has explained the safety precautions they take, ask where the vitamins and minerals in the pet food come from. If a pet food claims to be “natural with added vitamins and minerals,” those vitamins and minerals are NOT natural. This statement is actually a disclaimer, required by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), to alert pet parents that the product contains synthetic nutrients that come from chemicals, not food.
A number of pet food recalls in recent years have been due to excessive Vitamin D or other synthetic nutrients in the food. In October of 2010, Blue Buffalo’s recalled dog food due because it contained too much Vitamin D. In 2006, Royal Canin recalled several of their foods because they also contained too much added Vitamin D. In 2009, Nutro recalled cat foods, citing the formulas contained “excessive levels of zinc.” At about the same time, 21 horses at the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Florida died from a supplement overdose of the mineral selenium.
Pick a Safe Pet Food
The common factor to all of these events is the use of added man-made vitamins or minerals. Dangerous excess vitamins and minerals in pet food happen when there is an error during the addition of the synthetic nutrient premix used. When nutrients come from food, as in all Nature’s Logic diets, this is far less likely. In addition, these man-made nutrients, those not coming from the food itself, contain processing aids and carriers, and many also contain chemical preservatives. Many fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, often contain the chemical preservative BHT(4). Further, most of the man-made mineral supplements are by-products of the metal industries and are allowed by AAFCO to have certain levels of heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury, and others. In addition, nearly every one of those synthetic vitamins and minerals are made in China (5).
The best way to avoid pet food recalls is to select a high-quality food, made in facilities inspected regularly and that follow quality and testing practices, and that don’t contain hidden unwanted ingredients. Nature’s Logic is the only full-line, commercial pet food with no chemically-synthesized nutrients. For more information about our 100% natural food for dogs and cats, visit www.natureslogic.com.