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Two Clicks to Safer Pet Food


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  1. Marie

    Wow! I did not know this! Thank you Susan! I wish I could learn what the company is – Purina? I’m still feeding small amounts of it, but we’re almost free of kitty addiction to it. Can you say please if it’s not Purina? Thanks again! SO grateful for you!!!

  2. Tracie

    I’m sorry to say that my own experience reporting blue plastic pieces found in Merrick Before Grain canned cat food (along with bulging cans, spoiled food, and mold) went completely unaddressed.
    I filled out the required online form and forwarded photos to the FDA and never heard back.
    Merrick responded with the customary “we have had no other reports of this”.
    Glad this consumer was able to get the FDA to take action.

    1. Marie

      That’s outrageous!!! Shame on Merrick! And double shame on the FDA!

      1. Diane

        Well be ready for more of this type thing. Merrick was recently purchased by one of the big dog food manufacturers. Can’t remember which one. I am currently in the process of switching my golden from Merrick’s Classic Beef, Barley and Carrots…to Fromm.

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes – unfortunately there are times when FDA does not respond. I wanted to share this story as encouragement for others to keep trying. I think often it is the ‘luck of the draw’ of who reads the complaint (at FDA). For this pet owner they were lucky (we all got lucky) – I’m sorry they did not take the same action for you. But please don’t give up trying if it ever happens again in the future.

  3. Jane

    Thank you for this article. I did not know to contact FDA about pet food problems even though I’ve been reading your website and others about pet nutrition and commercial food for awhile. I guess I just figured to contact the manufacturer and store where I bought the food. So no, FDA, everyone does NOT know to contact you. I wonder if a phone call is better than emailing, because the rep at FDA would be more accountable than just sending an email to some general mailbox. Wouldn’t it be great if pet food manufacturers had to put info about how to contact FDA in case of pet food concerns? Yeah right. I’d be living in an alternate universe if I thought that could happen. They don’t even do that for foods and meds humans consume. As usual, buyer beware.

  4. Pacific Sun

    This point of this article is to commend the FDA for forwarding a customer complaint to a PF company, and to remind people to report issues to the FDA. I get that.

    However having worked in customer service for 10 years I can tell you the company’s response falls short even when prodded by the FDA. The response lacks everything but the “words” of an “apology” (considering that’s a big enough concession all alone). What we don’t know is how long the customer waited to hear back? Clearly the message line was not being monitored. Was it a staff absence, a training or a functional failure? That question could certainly be answered and wasn’t. What was the position (responsibility) of the person finally forced to respond? In other words was management or anyone of consequence involved? Does his cell phone only work to receive calls or did he make any outgoing call to the customer? Somehow the whole Country can function very well in spite of differing time zones. What he really seemed to be after, hence the extra effort to connect, is the evidence itself. That’s great. But I didn’t read where he promised to explain the results of the investigation (or ideally a remedy) to the customer. He only said he “could” (not would) begin an investigation. So that sounds pretty watered down. As with most of the PF dilemmas brought forward, it always seems to be the very first time that a mysterious problem happens. But you can’t tell me that production mishaps don’t happen all_the_time especially for a company that’s been in business for any decent amount of time! Having seen the picture then was it an electrical, strapping, or machine-belt type of cord? Was it rubber, plastic, or fabric coated? What color was it? A 2.5 inch (if that’s the measurement) piece is darn long to be inside even an 8 oz sized can! With consultation the investigator would know the nuts & bolts of an assembly line (like the machinery) and know whether or nor, or how failures occur. I also didn’t read any manner of appreciation for reporting the issue that might have affected (or prevented) other customers being affected. There was no word shared that the company would track down by lot number other batches of the product, which might have been reassuring to the customer. Oh and there was NO mention of compensation or gratuity. Sure a lot more could be said once the phone call takes place, but hey, what about putting just a little more substance into a written communication!? Like, ahh, just for the record or for making a solid committment?? Well not the PFI, isn’t that special!

    In other words the company just wants to get that cord and can back. Certainly before the FDA finds (any more) reason to launch a bigger investigation, particularly if they are already on the radar for something else!

    I only buy from PF companies who answer their phones live or email back within 24 hours! One of the largest and busiest companies that I know of, did just that on a fairly recent inquiry, with one of the co-owners handling his email at midnight (his time) and replying with a full explanation in writing.

  5. Dezi and Lexi

    Thanks for the article. I have an issue with our local Petco. They have a bug problem in the store and it’s in all the natural cat litters and a lot of the food. They claim there’s nothing they can do about the problem. We started shopping online to avoid these bugs, but recently I made the mistake of purchasing a bag of cat litter and now have a house full of moths. Surely there’s something that can be done about this problem. Of course not all pet products are high quality, but those that are, are being contaminated on the shelves of this store. Anyways, just food for thought.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Wow. The general public is SO forgiving. Never give up reporting on an issue especially going on within a Chain store. This problem should be reported to the Corporate Headquarters. PetCo is very, very difficult to get through. But you can’t give up insisting on talking with Management. Only management “would” care about these things because the underlings (I’m convinced) try to keep as much from them as possible.

      There are all kinds of constrictions put on these local stores, mainly sales quotas (dollars), keeping a budget, very limited/untrained staff. Yet “traffic” is what drives profitability, and if customers are turned off from going into the store, a competitor is more than happy to pick up the customers. PetSmart (I don’t buy PF from them) is very ascetics oriented, always sweeping and mopping up, stocking shelves, with team members in the aisles. Every day (at least twice) they count “living” inventory. I asked my friend why they spend so much time doing that, and she said it’s to make sure that nothing has died. PetCo keeps their staff mainly at the check-out counters (and staffs the grooming shop). I don’t think there’s as much inspection going on throughout the store. (Still no excuse).

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