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Are Pet Food Distributors Part of the Raw Pet Food Recall Problem?

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  1. Christine

    I know that each of my distributors are required to test the surface temperature upon delivery. We have our own surface temperature thermometer we can use to verify it, if necessary. In warmer months they put foods from their containers into portable coolers to get them the very short distance from truck to store, to ensure they don’t start to thaw. We inspect all foods coming in to make sure that if the food is in nuggets in bags, that they feel fully solid, and that bags don’t contain product that is stuck together, which generally indicates that the food was slightly thawed and refrozen. I assume other distributors and stores are all doing the same, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
    Green Dog Pet Supply

  2. Peg

    Great big thank you Susan!!!
    Heading off to my indy guy to pick up my frozen raw. May in NY beautiful and cool but, I too bring an insulated container.

    I have some questions for my guy.
    Thank you thank you!!

  3. Sherry Widom

    After purchasing raw frozen pet food with freezer burn (my pups wouldn’t eat it) and finding bags of obviously partially thawed and refrozen food in the retailers freezers I’d decided to quit buying it. Right now I’m buying Primal freeze dried. Not my first choice but I’m not confident in the supply chain to the retail stores. I sent an email to Stella & Chewy’s (the brand I had found with freezer burn) asking about this but they didn’t bother to reply. What a surprise to learn you found the food was delivered in unrefrigerated trailers. I’ll have find out how the distributors here in the Denver Colorado area deliver frozen pet food. Not an acceptable way to handle raw frozen or fresh refrigerated food.

    1. Deb Dempsey

      Hi Sherry. I own a pet supply store in Denver (Mouthfuls Pet Supply) and we consolidate our raw purchases to one distributor (and one independent, local manufacturer)because we trust their handling procedures. They use the blue tub pictured in Susan’s article, packed with dry ice and covered with a lid. We are very careful to inspect the raw when it comes in and have never found anything close to thawing from them. Stella’s has changed their organizational structure (more corporate than ever) and uses HPP (high pressure pasteurization) on their raw, so in my opinion, it’s not really “raw”. Have you tried Small Batch? It’s made by a company in California and it a great bang for your buck. I have the owner on speed dial and he’ll talk your ear off if you have questions.

  4. Joyce

    Thank you for bringing this to everyone-s attention. I will be sharing this article like all your others.

    I experienced a problem with a raw brand because of distributor not storing properly. Unfortunately, neither the pet store nor the pet food company would take responsibility and blamed it on each other instead looking into the problem. I ended up taking my dog off raw because I could not trust the distribution system.

  5. Merry

    Thank you for this much-needed education!

  6. Sarcroth

    We ordered various brands of commercial raw diets and two of the three distributors (one local to our state, the other local just one state next door) went to extensive measures to make sure our food arrived packaged in stryofoam containers (which I reupurposed as feral cat shelters during the winter!) with large amounts of dry ice. They always packaged in a way that utilized the space to preserve the coldness, and would not ship frozen products unless you met certain conditions to prevent thawing. They also accepted returns no questions asked if we felt the product was unsafe. This was especially important living in the desert and being 100mi from the nearest interstate. The third distributor, who was not as local, was the only one that carried a certain brand that is highly popular, sent everything in cardboard boxes with no ice. I often refused items and had them sent back on those deliveries. On our end, if our customers ended up bringing the food home and found that it had thawed and been re-frozen at some point prior to shipping, they could bring it back for a full refund or exchange and we would alert the distributor and usually get product credit. But, I will also say that living in a rural town in the middle of nowhere many of the frozen/refrigerated foods for the people here don’t always arrive on a refrigerated truck either…and with the way I’ve seen the grocery stores run here I think I trust the handling of the frozen pet foods more!

  7. Jane Democracy

    I would be pointing the finger to store owners such as this one as well. She should have a some idea about food safety, if you are selling refrigerated or frozen food to the public (pets included) ignorance is no excuse. How can she ensure the safety and quality of the food she is selling if she doesn’t ensure it arrives at her store in the proper manner! As Green Dog Food Supply stated above, she checks the surface temperature of the product that arrives at her store, and so should anyone big or small who is selling frozen or refrigerated food. If the shop owner you buy your food from did this, she could refuse to accept the product and the distributor would soon learn. I’m betting the store owner probably didn’t want to pay for a reefer truck, in that case she really should be checking.

  8. inkedmarie

    I buy from Hare Today…55lbs with dry ice and it’s frozen solid. Never had any blood leakage.

  9. Jan

    This was a real eye opener. As one who is switching to raw food I recently wondered about a supply of meat when my cat who has been loving it suddenly did not want to eat the newly bought supply, leaving me to wonder. Then I read this. I was grateful that she turned her nose up which alerted me to the fact that it could have been bad. I plan to do some research and ask questions of my local pet food store. Thank you so very much for sharing this.

  10. Tim

    Wow, I fell into the same trap, not thinking this through. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Susan!

  11. Deborah J. Hays

    So if a store owner does refuse a shipment of “supposed-to-be-frozen” raw food, I assume the shipper takes the food back to the manufacturer, and then what ? WHAT prevents that manufacturer from refreezing the food, then shipping it out to another customer in a different town or state ??

  12. Ellie

    The only commercial pet food that my oldest Yorkie would ever eat was Stella & Chewy’s. We tried other raw commercial foods but she refused. It is an expensive way to feed your dog when you are buying the freeze dried stuff. I found a small pet store about 30 miles away that would stock frozen Stella & Chewy’s for me which was quite a bit less expensive. Well, she ate it but was not as enthusiastic about it. After a few months the woman that ran the business started having problems stocking the frozen and it became too much of a hassle so we stopped buying it. Shipping frozen raw dog food direct from the distributor to your home is not cost effective either so our dogs also eat home prepared food (mostly raw) that we add supplements to. They also get some freeze dried raw dog food which they love..Now I have to wonder if the reason our girl did not like the frozen Stella & Chewy’s was because of the shipping process.
    A couple of our dogs cannot eat regular commercial meats bought in the grocery store without becoming unbearably itchy. I suspect that it is the antibiotics that are constantly injected into most of the nation’s livestock.that is causing the problem, although steroids, hormones and other chemicals are also in our meat supply as well as the fact that the livestock is fed GMO grain. Put that all together and it is no wonder why so many dogs suffer from constant itch and other problems. The antibiotics used on our nation’s livestock are known to cause allergies in dogs and cats. Does anyone care? Apparently not! Fortunately, we live in an area that is not far from some great small farms that feed their animals strictly all natural feeds (but mostly grass fed) and do not inject anything into them. The people who run these farms swear that when they stopped feeding GMO to their livestock and started treating their herds the same way as was done for hundreds of years prior – that their animals became much more healthy, strong, and disease resistant.
    Sadly, many of these family owned farms have been put into bankruptcy by the US government regulations and were then bought up by the corporate owned food industry. The big corporations now control most of the nation’s food supply for humans and pets. Genetically modified foods are illegal in the EU and many other parts of the world but in the US we could not even get our legislators to give us labels telling us what foods are GMO! Why bother? Unless otherwise stated what you buy in your grocery store is GMO and the meat unless otherwise stated is also full of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids.

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