Two major pet-food companies voluntarily are pulling products from store shelves after traces of antibiotics were found in them that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not approved.
Nestle Purina PetCare Co. announced last week it is withdrawing its Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats until further notice.
Del Monte Foods said it is recalling its Milo's Kitchen- brand Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailer shelves nationally.
New York state's Department of Agriculture notified the FDA and the companies that antibiotics had been found in several lots of the treats made in China.
The use of antibiotics to keep chickens healthy and disease-free while raising them is standard practice in poultry production for human and pet food, according to a notice of the recall from the FDA. However, the antibiotics found in the products were unapproved and should not be present in the final food product, the FDA said.
"The antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries but are not among those approved in the U.S. Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, when raising animals fit for human consumption," a notice on the Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch website stated.
While Milo's Kitchen has a comprehensive safety testing program in place for its products, the company did not test for all of the specific antibiotics found by the New York Department of Agriculture, the FDA notice said.
"While there is no known health risk, the presence of even trace amounts of these antibiotics does not meet our high quality standards. Therefore, today we decided to recall both products and asked retailers to remove the products from their shelves," said Rob Leibowitz, the general manager of pet products at Del Monte Foods.
Last year, chicken jerky treats made in China were in the news when U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon Lake, warned owners of the dangers pets face when given the treats. He urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recall them after a Westlake family lost a pet and another suffered kidney failure after consuming the same treats.
In November, however, the FDA said scientists had not been able to determine a definitive cause of reported dog illnesses and warned that many of the illnesses reported might have been the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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