Friday, May 4, 2007

Additional SmartPak Canine Recall - DRY food - Cross Contamination at another company suspected

Cross contamination at another manufacturer? This makes me expect more recalls (like I wasn't already)

Added 8:36am: Foods previously recalled that were made at Chenango include Lick Your Chops, Doctors Foster and Smith, and SmartPak. See my previous blog entry here.

And note: the SmartPak website does NOT list this new recall. And the FDA took 48 hours to send out the release. Both of which really piss me off because I've been checking these sites for 2 days to make sure nothing new was added. (Added: They did add it to their website, but you have to scroll down to see that something new has been added. That's not good enough. Try putting it at the top. In RED. Or something.)

Here's what they have on their site: (you have to scroll down to see it)

LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Recall

On May 2, 2007 we initiated a voluntary recall of all orders of LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice. This product tested positive for presence of melamine in a test received earlier in the day.

In our last message regarding the dog food recall situation, we described that one of our dog food brands, LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice, contained rice protein concentrate sourced from Wilbur Ellis, and that we had voluntarily recalled the product to reduce the chance of harm to dogs due to potential for melamine contamination. As part of our efforts to understand and prevent further issues, we sent all the LiveSmart brand dog foods out for melamine testing the day after we initiated our recall.

Those tests came back today, May 2, 2007, and LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice showed presence of Melamine. This was unexpected, since the formula does not contain rice protein concentrate, wheat gluten, or any of the ingredients on FDA’s import watch list. All the ingredients in the formula with the exception of the lamb and lamb meal originate from United States sources. The lamb and lamb meal we use in the formula is sourced from New Zealand. (Our manufacturing partner, Chenango Valley Pet Food, sources that ingredient from New Zealand because the lamb are raised free range and the New Zealand government is known for stringent rules on use of antibiotics.)

Once we received these test results this morning, we immediately suspended production of SmartPaks containing LiveSmart Lamb. We pulled the product off the website. We notified UPS to redirect all packages destined for our customer’s homes. And we initiated a complete recall of all lots of the product after discussing the situation with the FDA.

Since the food is only sold in portion-paks shipped straight to the consumer’s home each month, the focus of the recall is informing affected customers via telephone, email, and letter. There are no bags of potentially affected product on store shelves anywhere in the country.

Test results for the LiveSmart Weight reduction formula—the subject of our original recall—did not have any melamine detectable in the sample. Nor was there any melamine detected in samples of LiveSmart Adult Chicken and Brown Rice, LiveSmart Puppy and Brown Rice, or LiveSmart Senior and Brown Rice.

SmartPak recommends that dogs who have been fed LiveSmart Lamb and show signs of kidney illness (loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea) be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

We are all very upset to have exposed our customers and their dogs to this situation. We and other responsible members of the pet community will be working hard over the next several months to learn from this situation and to re-earn your trust. We will continue to update our website as more information becomes available.

SmartPak Canine Voluntarily Recalls LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Plymouth, MA – May 3, 2007 –On 5/02/07, SmartPak Canine executed a voluntary nationwide recall on all lots of LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice food. This product tested positive for presence of melamine in a test received earlier in the day.

The LiveSmart Lamb formula is only sold in portion-paks shipped straight to the consumer's home each month, so there are no bags of potentially affected product on store shelves anywhere in the country. The focus of the recall has been informing affected customers via telephone, email, and letter. Ninety-nine percent of the roughly 220 pet owners feeding LiveSmart Adult Lamb via its portion pak pet food subscription service were contacted by live phone contact or message, and/or email. The company has had live contact with the majority of affected pet owners, and is continuing an aggressive outreach program to ensure that the notification has been received. To reduce likelihood of pet owners continuing to feed the food, replacement product is being shipped to affected customers free of charge.

At the time the recall was initiated, there had not been any ill effects reported in dogs. Through the efforts to reach out to all customers, the company has become aware of two instances of vomiting and learned that a 10 year old Rottweiler had passed away two weeks previous to the recall. These reports have been forwarded to FDA and are being investigated by the company's Medical Director to determine if they are connected with the LiveSmart Adult Lamb formula. The company has asked that any dogs showing signs of kidney illness (loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst) be seen by their veterinarian.

The company is presently investigating the source of the contamination in conjunction with its contract manufacturer, Chenango Valley Pet Food. The LiveSmart Adult Lamb formula does not contain rice protein concentrate nor wheat gluten. All the meat and vegetable matter, with the exception of New Zealand lamb, is of US origin. It appears that the product may have been cross contaminated at the Chenango plant by a prior batch of food unassociated with SmartPak that contained an ingredient that had been contaminated with melamine.

SmartPak has also tested each of its other four brands for melamine contamination, and there was no melamine detected in the samples of these foods. Those brands are LiveSmart Adult Chicken and Brown Rice, LiveSmart Senior Chicken and Brown Rice, and LiveSmart Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice.

Questions regarding this recall may be directed to Paal Gisholt, the company's president and CEO, who may be reached at 800 461-8898. Affected customers are asked to call the company's toll free customer service number at 800 461-8898, which is available 24/7. Additional information will be reported on the company's website as it becomes available.

Consumers with questions about the pet food they use should visit the FDA Web site at


Anonymous said...

SmartPak does have the updated recall information on their website. See It is under the LiveSmart Lamb section. I checked their website yesterday and it was updated. I also received a phone call and email from them and their representative told me that they were doing that for all affected customers.

Anonymous said...

I also got a phone call from a Smartpak to inform me of the recall, and got an email from them, all because I ordered the lamb food back in March of 2006.

Kim said...

Thanks for your comment. And, if I click on a link called 'pet food recalls', I expect to see new recalls at the top! If the page looks the same as it did the week before it's not reasonable to expect people to scroll down to check for new additions. Too many manufacturers are burying information on their sites this way, and I'm sick of it.

That said - I'm *very* glad they called and emailed their customers.

Anonymous said...

We all should do something to make the companies that produce contaminated food be responsible!

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...,,,, and have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: