Sunday, April 01, 2007

Major pet food recall expands to dry food

Major pet food recall expands to dry food

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A major recall of pet food in North America has expanded to two more companies and now includes dry food for the first time, U.S. federal health authorities and the companies said.

The Food and Drug Administration said late on Friday it notified Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. that tests had detected byproducts of a suspect chemical in the wheat gluten it used to make Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food.

The FDA concluded earlier on Friday that melamine, a chemical used in fertilizers in Asia and forbidden in pet food, had been found in some wheat gluten used by a Canadian company at the center of the recall two weeks ago.

Ontario-based Menu Foods makes pet food sold under several popular labels. The FDA and Menu said the suspect wheat gluten came from a Chinese supplier, which was not identified.

Menu recalled certain batches of wet pet food in mid-March after the products were blamed for the deaths of at least 14 animals -- mostly cats.

The FDA, which is continuing its investigation, found that wheat gluten from the same company that supplied Menu Foods was used to make the Hill's product, the first time a dry food had been implicated.

Hill's, a unit of Colgate-Palmolive Co. based in Topeka, Kansas, has voluntarily recalled the product sold through veterinarians. The company confirmed the recall in a statement.

Separately, Nestle Purina PetCare Co. announced in a statement it was voluntarily recalling all sizes and varieties of its ALPO Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes.

Nestle Purina, based in St. Louis, said it learned on Friday that "some quantity" of wheat gluten from the same supply company linked to Menu and Hill's was used on a limited basis at one of its facilities.

No Purina brand dry pet foods were affected by the recall.