The latest update from Premium Edge Pet Food regarding their cat food recall had a statement in it that didn’t make sense. With a little investigation, it seems someone completely dropped the ball with this recall and undoubtedly more pets died because of it.
I subscribe to the FDA recall RSS feed and recall email alerts. Many of you do as well; when the update on the Premium Edge Cat Food recall was sent out on 12/1/09, many pet owners forwarded me notice of the update (thank you all – this is a team effort!); it seems we all received notice of the update around the same time. There is a long list of problems that this updated recall announcement pointed out to me.
The first problem is the date of the updated FDA recall announcement; November 27, 2009. This recall update, with an updated list of recalled cat food date codes, wasn’t sent out to FDA recall subscribers until four days later on December 1, 2009. Why? Four days of eating a toxic cat food could kill someone’s beloved pet! What in the world could have caused the FDA to delay publishing and emailing an updated recall notice to subscribers of their information? Pet owners subscribe to these alerts because WE WANT TO KNOW IMMEDIATELY about a recall; not four days late. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm192404.htm
The next issue is Premium Edge Pet Food’s statement on the November 27, 2009 release; “On September 23, Diamond Pet Foods issued a voluntary recall for Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball cat because they have the potential to produce Thiamine Deficiency.” September 23? If this is accurate, where is the September 23 FDA recall announcement? If September 23 is accurate, why didn’t the Premium Edge Pet Food spokesman I spoke with on October 2, 2009 tell me the food was already recalled?
This September 23, 2009 statement could mean that is the day that Diamond Pet Foods told retailers to pull the product from store shelves. From the October 20 FDA release: “All retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves. The retailers were also asked to contact their customers via email or telephone requesting them to check the date code of the food.” http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm187218.htm
If this is the case, then this system of protecting pets from tainted food didn’t work very well. The November 27, 2009 update tells us “To date, 21 cases of thiamine deficiency in cats have been reported and confirmed by Diamond. The reports have been confined to the New York and Pennsylvania areas and none have been received since October 19.” So, if indeed September 23 was the date that Diamond/Premium Edge told retailers to remove the suspect food from stores, the ‘recall’ wasn’t effective; reports of sick pets continued until October 19 – almost a full month after their ‘recall’. On October 2 when I spoke with a Diamond Pet Food Representative, the number of sick cats was 13. This means six more beloved pets became ill or died AFTER their recall. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm192404.htm
Another problem…I spoke with the New York (original State reporting sick and dying cats) FDA complaint coordinator in mid October. This FDA agent did NOT tell me the food was recalled. Her statement to me was ‘we are aware of the problem and it is being investigated’. September 23 to mid October is…almost a month. Problem.
The original FDA Premium Edge Cat Food recall announcement dated October 20, 2009 states the following: “The company tested the product and found no contaminants in the cat food; however the cat foods were deficient in thiamine. Diamond tracked the vitamin premix lot number that was utilized in these particular cat foods and have performed testing on another lot of Premium Edge cat food that used the same vitamin premix, and it was not deficient in thiamine.” Yet…(brace yourself for another problem)…the updated recall announcement of November 27, 2009 states “Samples taken by the FDA indicated that there were additional lots with insufficient levels of thiamine.” Thus, although Diamond testing didn’t find other lots of cat food that was deficient in thiamine, the FDA testing did find them. Who’s in charge here? Why wasn’t all other lots of Premium Edge Cat Food tested back in September? And even more frightening, are the same vitamins pre-mix used in any other product manufactured at Diamond? Has anyone bothered to test that? Maybe the FDA?
Just to double check what I already knew of this recall, I did a search on the FDA pet food recall page; the brand new system of the FDA’s that was built to better inform pet owners of a pet food recall. Here is the page link: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/ If you notice in the web address – it says “newpetfoodrecalls” – new pet food recalls. As of 12/2/09, the top of this page states: “Information current as of noon November 23, 2009” and the first sentence states “This compiled list represents all pet food recalled since January 1, 2006.” But guess what? The Premium Edge Cat Food recall of September 23, 2009 is NOT LISTED! ‘New pet food recalls’ current as of November 23, 2009 and this recall is not listed. Someone should get fired over this.
The Premium Edge Pet Food website does have a notice on the home page about the recall, I have to give them credit for that. http://www.premiumedgepetfood.com/ However, it states “No New or Expanded Recall”. Well…let’s look at this…the October 20, 2009 FDA recall statements lists only four date codes “RAF0501A22X 18 lb., RAF0501A2X 6 lb., RAH0501A22X 18 lb., RAH0501A2X 6 lb”. However, the November 27, 2009 FDA recall update lists five date codes adding RAF0802B12X 18 lb product code. So…isn’t one more date code of food ‘expanded’ and or ‘new’? http://www.premiumedgepetfood.com/announcements/66/
What a mess. The worst part is that because the recall notification system is such a mess, more pets die. We all deserve to be informed in a prompt manner of a dog food, cat food, or people food recall. Sadly, what we deserve isn’t happening.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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