Pet Food Recall, Merrick’s Beef Filet Squares – Again

by Mary Haight on July 4, 2010

Update: As I had replied to Edie in the comments, hoping Merrick’s website would be fixed to reflect the recall on the front page and also the missing News page item, that is what occurred today. A full page flash on the front page announced the recall. Also, the erased reference to the January recall of this product is back where it belongs on the News page. Note the links to what was there no longer prove the point. Of course, there are many other blogs and websites that noted the same deficiences I am sure. The contents of the FDA warning letter still leaves a serious breach of trust on the table. 

Buried in their website and left unreported by the FDA due perhaps to the late Friday filing, Merrick  is recalling their Beef Filet Squares for the second time this year. This recall is hot on the heals of a FDA warning letter sent to Garth Merrick,  owner of Tejas Industries in Plainview Tx, the manufacturer.

When the recall for this same product was finally issued in January, Merrick’s decided not to inform their customers and the general public for two weeks, after being notified of FDA’s test results, that they were in danger of contracting Salmonella from that product.

Merrick’s chose to spin the truth to best serve the company, telling  wholesalers  and retailers  that the product “may not have been processed properly.”  Well, thanks for making it abundantly clear where your priorities lie.  And as if to underscore this disregard for the safety and well-being of their customers and their customer’s dogs, on Merrick’s News & Info page, the January 15 2010 recall never happened.  That’s right, they would just as soon you forgot that this product was already recalled once this year, the messy timing facts leading up to announcing the recall, and that pesky FDA warning letter, too!

With thanks to a tweet from twitter pal @k9cuisine via @lambybiscuits  for the lead. Here’s the new recall notice found on the About page in the news section (great place to bury a news page you don’t really want people to read):

07.02.2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2010
Customer Inquiries: (800) 664-7387
Other Inquiries: JAMES WITCHER, COO (806) 322-2806

MERRICK PET CARE RECALLS BEEF FILET SQUARES 10oz BAG (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10084TL7 BEST BY MARCH 24,2012) BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE SALMONELLA HEALTH RISK

Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is recalling 86 cases of its 10oz “Beef Filet Squares for Dogs” pet treats  (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10084TL7 BEST BY MARCH 24, 2012) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptcial.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Beef Filet Squares were shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the US. These individuals have been notified and have activated their recall procedures.
The treats are sold in 10oz plastic bags marked with “Lot # 10084TL7 Best By Mar 24, 2012” on the top of the bag and on a sticker applied to the bottom.

No illnesses have been reported to date. FDA collected a surveillance sample of “Merrick Beef Filet Squares for Dogs” (lot #10084TL7) which were purchased from a retail store. The sample tested positive for Salmonella.
Consumers who have purchased 10 ounce packages of “Beef Filet Squares for Dogs” are urged to return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00 – 5:00 CDT

This is a prime example of why we must demand transparency in reporting food issues.  It’s not to browbeat companies who actually report their recalls and do it with integrity with a front page above the “fold” splash on their website, it’s to catch out these types of companies who believe in hiding the truth while pets and people get ill, possibly even die, from their own inability to face responsibility.

No one likes recalls.  But they will occur, and that’s a fact of manufacturing life.  Human error,  machine and computer failures will not be going away, though avenues for continuous improvement will hopefully keep them to a minimum. The public has a need to know and a right to speedy warning.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Growlies for Pets and others. Growlies for Pets said: Pet Food Recall, Merrick’s Beef Filet Squares – We sell these and our batch is not included. http://bit.ly/bWdgnshttp://fb.me/xeFtqU7w […]

  2. […] Pet Care Extends July 2 Recall on Beef Filet Squares “Texas Hold’ems” 10 oz Bag (Item # 60016 Lot 10127 Best by May 6 2012) because of […]

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