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Update on Iams pet food recall

by Therese on November 28, 2011

in Dogs, Pet Food Recall

I spoke with Michelle, at Iams customer relations this morning and was told that Iams does not have any recalls. The information posted by Price Chopper concerned bags of Iams cat food and dog food that retailers were asked to remove from shelves. During aftermarket testing Iams discovered a small number of bags that did not meet their specifications. All of the bags went to retailers on the east coast and those retailers were asked to remove  the bags from their shelves.

I also got the following email with the same information from Bev VanZant, Iams Community Manager:

There has been no consumer recall and there is not a widespread aflatoxin issue with any of our foods.  We have been working this situation with the FDA and we are confident consumers can feed their pets Iams. There were a small number of bags that tested outside of specification limits and we have retrieved those products.  Price Chopper has also removed the information posted, as there is no consumer recall.

Price Chopper removed the information from their website they have not posted anything to let consumers know what happened. I suspect Iams told them to take it down and not say anything about it. I think they did the right thing in posting it though. Pet owners need to know when there’s an issue with food that might affect their pets’ health. I haven’t seen anything from Iams either, other than the email I received from Bev.

 

 

 

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

YesBiscuit! November 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

There’s not a “widespread” aflatoxin problem. That’s just ducky. Really sets my mind at ease and restores my confidence in Iams.

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Therese November 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

So you caught that “widespread” too, huh? 😉

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5CatMom November 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Oh, I get it.
IAMS didn’t have a RECALL, they “only” had a REMOVAL.

What a load of cwrap!

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Sandi November 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I wonder how many bags they say were affected and how many they actually retrieved. As we know, from past pet food recalls, they are never able to retrieve all the bags. And then do they put out notice to the public in an effort to get the rest of the bags? Of course not. As far as they are concerned, the quieter this stays the better off they are. If I was the store owner, I would have left that sign up and if Iams didnt like it, dont sell their food anymore. Quit letting these pet food companies intimidate and dictate the rules.

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school for dog trainers November 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

I agree with Sandi, usually they don’t say how many bags are concerned!

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Tonya December 1, 2011 at 12:31 am

IAMS is calling this process a retrieval instead of a recall. Petco has a list of 11 different types of IAMS that they pulled to be destroyed. The total is 3264 cases of pet food. (not bags) cases. Like I told the rep I spoke with at IAMS. You cant tell me you are pulling this many cases and there isnt a problem.
BTW – My puppy is recovering from liver failure and I believe it was IAMS Smart puppy proactive health (which is one of the items pulled this week)
He had several fresh frozen plasma treatments and a blood transfusion. He is home now on several meds.

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Tonya December 7, 2011 at 1:13 am

I hope everyone saw the recall today. I cant wait to talk to the lady at the FDA tomorrow.

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5CatMom December 1, 2011 at 8:17 am

Tonya,

I’m so sorry about your puppy. Hope he gets better soon. If you haven’t already done so, would be good for you to contact your FDA coordinator and file a complaint about your puppy.

Got a feeling that P&G Iams has plenty of clout with which to avoid an official FDA recall, so the FDA needs to hear from those affected by the food.

If you need to know how to contact FDA, please let us know.

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Tonya December 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I have contacted them and they sent me a message asking me to save the rest of the bag. I have it ready for them. I have also contacted IAMS, but they say it is a voluntary retrieval due to quality control. Dont worry I am not going to let them get away with this.

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5CatMom December 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Tonya, way to go!

Also suggest that you keep about 2 cups of the food – just in case. You may decide that you need a bit of “independent testing”.

Those of us who’ve been following the pet food industry can help you get a sample tested, if necessary.

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Sam December 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Tonya, over at truthaboutpetfood.com, Susan Thixton had said if anyone had any of the food being recalled, to contact her. She might be doing some testing, I dont know. Thought I would mention it in case you are interested. Thoughts and prayers for your puppy.

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Tonya December 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

I would be interested.
There are more than 3 kinds of pet food involved in their “retrieval process”
CT Petco Item Code Item UPC p&G code
1 1201174 19014018482 84845100 Iams dog dry PA hlth smart puppy size 17.5 lb lot code 12794177k1 total cases 300
2 1201166 19014018611 84844025 Iams dog PA hlth smart puppy lg breed size 17.5lb lot code 12794177J1 total cases 120
3 1494740 19014037339 84844388 Iams DG SB/HN/lanb meal & rice/sp 6.1 lb lot code 12794177I3 / lot code 2 12794177I4 total cases 45/180
4 1299735 19014037353 84845343 Iams dg sb/hn/ lamb meal & rice/sp 15.5 lb lote code 12794177J4 total cases 180
5 1299727 19014037377 84845634 Iams dg sb/hn/lanb meal & rice/sp 35 lb lot code 12794177J4 total cases 64
6 1336754 19014039159 84853762 Iams cat dry pa hlth chicken 6.8 lb 12794177D3 29/116 cases
7 22896 19014 05045 (can read the # after the 19014_) Iams cat dry pa hlth chicken 4lb 1279417715 24 cases
8 582760 19014_ 98405 84844035 Iams dog pa hlth smart puppy Lg breed 40 lb 12794177J2/12794177J1 total cases 416
9 802980 19014_70309 84845755 EUK dog bg lg breed Sr 30 lb 12784177J5/12784177J6 total cases 1984
10 1488279 1901460807 80207946 Iams cat original 20lb (petco custom) 20 lb 12794177K5/12794177K4 total cases 550
11 1494716 19014023059 80205266 Iams dog dry pa hlth smart puppy 7 lb 12784177I6 total cases 160
GRAND TOTAL 3872 CASES OF RETRIEVED PET FOOD

while I was shopping for new food a sales person at Petco was nice enough to print this for me. Its a list of the items IAMS told them to remove in their retrieval process.

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Claudia December 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Tonya,

What are the best before dates on these bags, please, if you can?

Thanks,
Claudia

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Therese December 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Claudia, I’m not sure what the best buy dates were. The only information that was on the Price Chopper website is listed on this post: http://www.petsitusa.com/blog/?p=4605. You might want to call Iams and ask.

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Tonya December 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

The copier at Petco has a small white line going through the UPC code so the number after the 19014 is hard to read, but the rest of the information is clear.

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Sam December 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I’d be curious to know if that list is of actual retrieved items or items they WANT to retrieve. Also curious is no best by date. If we knew the best by date, we would probably be able to tell if its really possible none of the food was sold to customers because it would tell us approximately when the food was made.

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MyrrhsHuman December 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I’ve been using Iams Chicken dry food (orange bag) for years with no problem. In August, I opened a bag that my 4 cats didn’t seem to like. Bought a new bag and they didn’t want that one, either. The one cat that eats dry food exclusively has been ill since the first bag with a gastro disorder characterized by very loud bowels sounds, gas, bloating, cramping and vomiting. Cortisone and Pepcid shots at the Vet were not much relief, except for an increased appetite – leading to more vomiting. Giving simethicone relieved the gas but gave him extreme diarrhea. He is still in this cycle after trying 2 new foods. Science diet is up next.
IF this is related to tainted food, I wonder why only the one cat is sick? The others do eat a lot of chicken and turkey meat, and one eats everything imaginable, especially sweets and peanut butter sammiches.

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Cmiers December 9, 2011 at 3:25 am

My cat of 6 years died after five days of eating Iams Chicken with this same UPC number, I am checking the lot number tomorrow. I am in Texas… Dallas. I have emailed Susan. I’m very upset about this loss. There were no signs of ill health and the only variable in her life was the food change… she went from Iams weight control, to Iams Chicken… and five days later, died… with elevated liver counts… being the only thing that I can lean on to know what happened to her. The emergency vet couldn’t figure out what happened. They said maybe heart related, but they had no idea… the liver showed elevated specs… and this mold that has shown up in other Iams foods, I read somehow impacts the liver… I will never use Iams after all that I have read, and the uncertainty of this same UPC code… that recall was put out there and then yanked, the week my cat was eating the food, then died suddenly. —

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Don Earl December 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

If anyone needs to get independent testing done for aflatoxin levels, WADDL can do the work for $24 if you’re a Washington resident, or $48 for tests ordered from outside Washington state:

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/toxicology.aspx

This is the form you need to fill out and send in with your sample:

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/forms/AcessionGeneralDiagnosticsWADDL.pdf

There’s also a $10 accession fee for processing the request. Contact information is available if you have any questions and it has been my experience the lab is VERY helpful if you need additional information.

If the company or the FDA wants samples, KEEP THE BAG AND SOME OF THE FOOD! That is the ONLY evidence you have if you ever need to hold the company accountable. Don’t throw it away. Put it in a container or wrap it up. Put a warning sign/note on the outside to make sure no one in the family accidently uses it.

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Tonya December 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

Hi, a guy from the FDA wants to come to my house to collect the bag for testing. How can I get him to just take a sample, or should I ask him for a receipt. IAMs also wants a sample, but I don’t think I trust them. I will most likely have it tested myself also.thanks for the info.

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5CatMom December 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Tonya,

That sounds like progress. Good job!

Been there, done that, but with my state’s Dept. of Agriculture.

Before the FDA guy gets to your house, suggest that you scoop out a couple of cups to keep for yourself – after all, the FDA guy doesn’t really know how much of the food you have.

Try to hang on to the bag, but if the guy insists on taking it, just write down the UPS number and date code on other info. If you have access to a copier or scanner, just make a copy.

When he gets to your house, he may have a form to fill out. Where you purchased the food, when, that sort of thing.

Try to get him to promise to get back to you with the test results, and get his name, business card, and phone number so that you can contact him.

This guy may turn out to be a lot of help, especially if he’s a sympathetic pet owner, or he could be a jerk. Either way, it’s good that FDA is at least interested.

PS: You don’t need to tell him that you may also have the food tested because you may decide not to.

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Don Earl December 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Tonya, The simple answer is just tell them you’re going to keep the bag and some of the food. By law they have to allow you to keep some of the sample. Use your best judgment depending on how much of the food you have left. If you have a lot, it shouldn’t be a problem. Let both the FDA and the company have a couple cups each to test. A couple ounces should be more than plenty for running mycotoxin screens on the food, so two cups is about 5-10 times more than what they would need. Let them write down anything on the bag they want, but don’t give it to them. Simply stated, it’s your property and anything you give them is given solely at your discretion. Cooperate in good faith, but draw a line in the sand at allowing anyone to abscond with the only evidence you have.

If your supply is limited, keep at least enough to fill a sandwich bag an inch or so deep AND THE BAG. Whatever is left provide to the FDA, or split between the FDA and the company, giving the FDA priority over the company if there isn’t enough to give both a similar amount.

There was an aflatoxin recall back around 2004 that affected a lot of pets. In addition to being one of the most toxic substances on the face of the earth (a single dose 1/200th the size of an asprin table could kill a cat), it is also just about the most potent carcinogen in existance. Pets that survived the initial poisoning were riddled with cancers within a year. Any pet that ate this stuff is in harm’s way, now or later. Don’t let the FDA or the company scam you out of your evidence. Getting independent testing done will help you know just how bad it really is by finding out what the level of contamination is. If it’s anything around 50 parts per billion, any pet that ate a 7 lb. bag full is probably in trouble. The greater the amount, or the longer the exposure, the higher the risk.

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