You Decide, Did Wellness Make this Clear?
A comment posted on the follow up article to the recent Wellness Cat Food recall got me back in contact with Greg Kean of Wellness Pet Food. It seems can kitten food was recalled too. Here’s the press release and the latest correspondence with Wellness and you decide if Wellness made this recall clear.
First, I have to give Wellness credit to alerting pet websites – TruthaboutPetFood.com included – to the recall announcement as it was going out on the Associated Press. Greg Kean of Wellness Pet Food emailed me late Monday evening February 28, 2011 and asked to call me (speak directly) explaining the recall. And Greg Kean was very prompt responding to my follow up questions.
And then I saw the comment that the recall was expanded to include kitten food (can), which resulted in further follow up with Wellness.
First, here is the Wellness Press Release announcing the recall…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 28, 2011 – WellPet LLC announced today it has voluntarily recalled certain lots of Wellness® canned cat food.
While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine. However, out of an abundance of caution, WellPet has decided to recall all of the lots listed below.
Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.
The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:
Wellness Canned Cat Food (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;
Wellness Canned Cat Food Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.
Consumers who still have cans of cat food from these lots should stop feeding them to their cats and call us at (877) 227-9587 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Eastern Time. Consumers with further questions should visit our website at www.wellnesspetfood.com or call us at this same number.
WellPet discovered the lower thiamine levels during independent testing conducted together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to a single, isolated consumer complaint received by the FDA. Although WellPet has received no other reports concerning thiamine in its products, WellPet has taken additional steps with the manufacturer to ensure that this does not happen again.
“As a pet parent myself, I’m concerned for the health and welfare of all pets, and as a company we are committed to delivering the most nutritious natural pet food,” said Tim Callahan, chief executive officer of WellPet, the maker of Wellness products. “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”
Now…here’s the comment posted on TruthaboutPetFood.com…
Do you all know that more Wellness brands were added to their recall after 2/28?
I was not informed of this and came upon the news by chance when calling Wellness about receiving reimbursement for the cat foods originally recalled. The kitten food was added a few days later but Wellpet failed to send another e-mail to inform its customers. Neither was I informed from the internet retailer I purchase cases of the kitten food from. In my view, this oversight is a disgrace and I am outraged by this breach of trust from a so-called ‘premium’ pet food company!
Now, here is my correspondence with Wellness…
A comment on my website shared that a kitten food was added to the recall on March 2. Is this correct?
There has been no change to the original announcement which includes the Wellness Canned Kitten food.
This is what you sent me…
The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:
Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;
Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.
We tried to be as clear as possible by stating all flavors all sizes.
I’m just shaking my head at this point Greg. Cat Food and Kitten Food are two different things.
I hope the retailers selling your products understood that Cat Food all varieties includes Kitten Food too. It would be terrible if the kitten food is still on store shelves right now.
It is being pulled and tracked very closely.
So…two things. First, what do you think? Do you think the recall notice was clear? Do you think pet parents and retailers will know this recall included can kitten food?
Second, from this recall forward I’m asking all that can to visit your local pet food retail outlets after a recall is announced – with lot numbers and Best By dates in hand – to assure recalled foods are removed from store shelves. (I’ll remind everyone when the next one happens.) If you find recalled food on the shelf – take a picture with your cell phone (if you can – to send to me), and ask for the manager of the store. Get them to remove this pet food from the shelf. With all of ‘us’ out there – this small effort could save some lives. As for the picture – you betcha – I’ll post it on the site along with the name of the pet store that didn’t remove the pet food promptly. Pet food consumers should know who isn’t pulling recalled pet food from store shelves.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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