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FDA warning to Purina pet food plant

By Susan Thixton

By Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate

The United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to a Purina Pet Food canning facility finding "significant deviations" from pet food regulations. Though no recalls have been issued, FDA had serious concerns about this pet food plant.
The FDA Warning Letter - available in its entirety at http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm428841.htm - stated their inspection lasted for two weeks, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 1, 2014. An inspection revealed "... that your facility has significant deviations from the LACF (low-acid can food) regulations."
The inspection found that this Purina plant deviated from the required processing of the pet food but failed to document the deviation as required by law.
The FDA warning letter stated: "Your firm did not provide documentation associated with the evaluation of the entire lot of product affected by the process deviation and did not provide documentation and-or the specifics of your corrective action plan in order to ensure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future."
FDA also found temperature drop concerns with the pet food manufactured at this plant. Law requires canned pet food to be heated to specific temperatures and any variations of these required temperatures are required to be noted in a log. This Purina plant did not document the drop in temperatures.
FDA "observed" that the conveyor system in this plant did "not have adequate protection in place to prevent an unprocessed can" from ultimately reaching the consumer. An "unprocessed" can of pet food would be an uncooked can of pet food - uncooked can of feed grade ingredients that could be full of dangerous bacteria. Purina responded to FDA they are in the process of correcting this issue; however, FDA stated: "We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to insure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future."
The public FDA Warning Letter to Purina was issued on Jan. 2, but does not provide lot numbers of products involved. The only information consumers have is the following product names of canned-moist foods: Alpo Prime Cuts with Beef, Alpo Chop House Originals, Filet Mignon Alpo Chop House Originals, Roasted Chicken Friskies, Mariner's Catch, Friskies Mixed Grill, Friskies Gravy Sensations with Turkey and Giblets, Friskies Supreme Supper, Friskies Indoor Chicken, Friskies Salmon Dinner, Mighty Dog Chicken Egg & Bacon Country Platter, Mighty Dog Chop House Originals Filet Mignon, Mighty Dog Lamb and Rice and ProPlan Senior Beef and Rice Entrée.
Consumers who continue to feed their pets one of these products are urged to pay close attention to their pet's health. Should any illness occur, notify a veterinarian first and the FDA second.
Pet illnesses can be reported to http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm.