Nutro Pet Foods have posted a press release on their website regarding the voluntary withdrawal of two puppy foods. However, the statement is very confusing and provides conflicting information.
Below is the Nutro Release. http://www.nutroproducts.com/press10-1-09.shtml
For Immediate Release:
Nutro Products Voluntary Retrieval of Select Puppy Foods
Q: I heard that there may be plastic in some NUTRO® products. Is this true?
A: Small pieces of melted plastic were recently found in the production line of select varieties of NUTRO® dry dog and cat food products. We immediately retrieved the affected pet food from our distributors, and only three sku’s reached retail stores. These were delivered to a small number of PetSmart and Petco stores. The specific products are listed below.
Upon discovery of the melted plastic, we immediately halted manufacturing and performed a thorough search of all equipment. We identified the source as a worker’s “bump cap,” similar to a hard hat, which inadvertently made its way into our manufacturing process.
Based on our extensive review, it is highly unlikely that any pieces of plastic made it into finished product. However, upon learning of the incident, we voluntarily retrieved all potentially affected products.
We strive to produce pet food of the highest quality and safety standards. Consumers who believe they have purchased potentially affected product should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® product, or contact the Nutro Products Consumer Care team at 1-800-833-5330.
Thank you for your continued loyalty and support for Nutro Products.
Several thoughts came to me when I read this…and they aren’t good.
Nutro states that a worker’s hard hat “inadvertently made its way into our manufacturing process.” My question is…why wasn’t this batch of puppy food destroyed at the time of processing?
Of course the employee instantly realized there was no hat on his/her head. Of course the employee and all employees involved realized that plastic allowed to be processed into puppy food would be a danger to the pets that consumed the food. Why didn’t this entire batch of pet food get destroyed at the time? What about Good Manufacturing Standards that every pet food manufacturer is supposed to follow?
The Nutro release continues with “Based on our extensive review, it is highly unlikely that any pieces of plastic made it into finished product. However, upon learning of the incident, we voluntarily retrieved all potentially affected products.” Now this part is confusing (and conflicting)…first Nutro says they did an ‘extensive review and felt it was highly unlikely that any pieces of plastic made it into finished product.’ This sentence and the sentence from the previous paragraph ‘Upon discovery of the melted plastic, we immediately halted manufacturing and performed a thorough search of all equipment’ seems to imply that Nutro was aware of the problem at the very moment it occurred. However the next sentence conflicts with this; ‘upon learning of the incident, we voluntarily retrieved all potentially affected products’…this seems to imply that AFTER the food was already bagged and shipped – they learned of the problem and THEN decided to ‘withdraw’ these foods from store shelves.
I’m confused. Nutro states that they halted manufacturing at the time; if this is true, this means they knew the food could contain (probably contained) plastic. But then they say they decided to pull the food off store shelves when they learned about the incident after the food was long gone to pet stores. Two completely different stories in one brief press release.
If, as the Nutro press release states, the company immediately stopped manufacturing because they were aware a workers hard hat fell into the processing pet food – then that entire batch of food should have been destroyed right then and there. There is absolutely no excuse.
I do not know Nutro’s – Mars Petcare’s Good Manufacturing Practices, however I cannot imagine how any food processing plant (pet food or people food) would knowingly allow a food to be bagged and shipped with pieces of plastic in it. To pull this product off store shelves AFTER THE FACT was necessary; however this puppy food should never have made it to store shelves in the first place.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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