Product recall: Natural Balance Pet Foods recalls Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Pet Foods has issued a voluntary recall for its Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food

I posted this recall on Saturday on my Examiner dog health page, but thought I should also post it here:

Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc., of Pacoima, CA, has announced a voluntary recall of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food with the “Best By” date of June 17, 2011, in 5-lb. and 28-lb. bags because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The products affected have the following UPC codes:

Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Formula – 5 lb
UPC 7-23633-9000-4 7-23633-99003-5 “best by” June 17, 2011

Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Formula – 28 lb
UPC 7-23633-99002-8 “best by” June 17, 2011

According to the FDA press release, the recall notification is being issued out after “a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

In a letter to consumers, Natural Balance president Joey Herrick writes, in part:

“Our 5 lb. and 28 lb. Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog food, manufactured on December 17, 2009 with a ‘Best By’ date of June 17, 2011 is being voluntarily recalled. A random sampling of this product tested positive for Salmonella by the FDA. In my mind, I asked, ‘How can this happen? I spent over $900,000 putting in our laboratory to test our products before we release them.’ We tested samples from the production run when it was manufactured six months ago, and the results came back negative.

“Upon hearing from the FDA, I immediately went to our Director of Customer Service, a licensed Registered Veterinary Technician, to check call logs for any complaints with this product. Our Customer Service department closely tracks and monitors complaints for any potential issues; and I heard no reports in our weekly meetings, so I was not surprised when I found we did not have a single complaint about this product. Next, I immediately pulled the retention samples for this product to be sent to an independent third party laboratory. The samples were sent to Zoologix, a laboratory that does real-time PCR testing, the most sensitive type of testing for Salmonella. Those test results also came back negative (CLICK HERE to see results). I reported our test results and call logs to the FDA, but due to the positive result they had found, they recommended a recall.

“I am sure your dogs are like my dogs — they sleep on our beds, they watch TV with us and if they are lucky enough, they come to work with us. This is why we are following the FDA’s recommendation and issuing a voluntary recall. Since we have not had any complaints on this product and it was manufactured six months ago, I expect that most of it has already been consumed. If there are any bags in your cupboards, please take them back to the store you shop at for a full refund.

“Not all states are affected. The following is a list of those states that are included in the voluntary recall: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

“I believe that we are the only pet food company that has built an in-house lab as an added check and gives you the test results in real time on our website. We hold the finished product in our warehouses for two to three days, until that testing is completed. We only release product to be shipped when the testing is negative.

“No testing protocol is perfect, but the alternative is not testing at all. That wouldn’t work for me. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing we aren’t testing every product before it goes out, to help make sure our products are the best in the business. Any testing is much safer for you and your pets than the alternative, which is not testing at all.

“Our goal is to have the best and safest pet food on the market. I don’t believe there is a better or safer product than Natural Balance Pet Food. Yes, we had an isolated incident, but we are continually testing our products and making the results available to you. I am proud of our laboratory and will be adding more layers of testing as a result of this recall. We have added over a half dozen significant improvements over the last three years, and remain committed to the safety of our products, and the pets that enjoy them. Our commitment is the same today as it was 22 years ago, to make the best pet food in the business.”

If you have more questions, contact Natural Balance Pet Foods Customer Service at (800) 829-4493 (8am – 5pm, PDT) or by visiting www.naturalbalanceinc.com.

To read the complete press release about the Natural Balance Pet Food recall, visit the FDA website.

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