Friday, August 24, 2007

Wal-Mart using 'old' packages (update)

Update 8-28:

Apparently, Menu Foods and Wal-Mart jointly decided to use old packaging in order to save money. So they just had new labels printed to put over the old UPC code and are stamping QA-OK on pouches made since the recall.

That might make some of you feel better, but not me. In my opinion it shows their continued lack of concern for pet owners, and their focus on costs to the exclusion of common sense.

These companies don’t even seem to be aware they need to regain consumer confidence!

If you buy anything and Wal-Mart or any pet food made by Menu Foods, it’s at your own risk.

And, um, by the way - if it’s just new labels and the food is good, why did 4 new cats get sick?

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From wsfa.com out of Montgomery, AL. Wal-Mart is still selling cat food recalled months ago. One story from today, one from yesterday. Emphasis mine.

More Pet Food on Recall List Found on Wal-Mart Shelves

We introduced you to Sheri McComber Wednesday. She says four of her cats got sick after eating Special Kitty brand cat food. She checked the labels on the food and found they were listed on the product recall. She said, "This was done on purpose."

We found dozens of the pouches just like the one's McComber had at the Clanton Wal-Mart. At first glance, the product code checks out as safe. If you peel it off, you'll find another product code. I compared those numbers to the ones on the recall list on the FDA'S Web site. Sure enough, it's on the list. With the stickers over the product code, the items went through. However, I left one on the stickers off. When the cashier scanned the label on the package, it said do not sell and she would not let me purchase it.

We put in several calls to Menu Foods and Wal-Mart pressing the issue: Why would they cover the old labels with new ones? Wal-Mart issued statement. It reads: "We have worked with our supplier to investigate the concerns raised by WSFA 12 News. Menu Foods, the manufacturer of Special Kitty products, assures us that the products currently available in Wal-Mart stores are, indeed, safe."

During our phone conversation, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart says the problem is with the packaging, not the prouduct. As to the problem with the packaging, Wal-Mart said we would have to ask Menu Foods about that. So far, we have been unable to get a comment from Menu Foods. The question still remains why would it cover the original labels. You can count on WSFA 12 News to continue to follow this story until we get answers.


Montgomery Woman Claims She Found Tainted Cat Food for Sale at Local Wal-Mart

Sheri McComber's cat Bubbles isn't his usual playful self. She says he's," weak and lethargic."

Three more of McCombers cats have the same symptoms. She says they got sick after eating Special Kitty cat food, one of the brands recalled.

"We have pulled the food," she said.

McComber bought the food, sold in pouches, at the Ann Street Wal-Mart. She says there was a warning sign when she purchased it. "One of the pouches would not scan. It said 'item not to be sold.' [The cashier] just picked up another one and scanned it twice," says McComber.

When her four cats became sick, she checked the labels on the food.

"I pulled back the sticker on the back and read the numbers. I checked the numbers with the recall list and it was the same," McComber said.

She hopes her story will keep other pets from getting sick and encourage owners to check their pet's food.

"I wonder if a lot of other people are taking their pets to the doctor because they don't know what's wrong with them either," said McComber

McComber's veterinarian has done blood work on the four cats. The results aren't back. So, they can't say for sure the food made the cats sick. We checked the Ann Street Wal-Mart to see if any of the tainted food was still on the shelves. It didn't have any Special Kitty pouches on the shelves.

Wal-Mart released a statement. It reads: "Pet food safety is a top priority at Wal-Mart, as we understand the important role that pets play in the lives of our customers. Since hearing from WSFA-TV , we began an investigation into the customer's concern."

2 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Kim,

Salmonella was found in the Mars Co. factory. This is the article:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_524472.html
It sounds just like the peanut butter recall.

ThePurpleSeal said...

Hi there,

Just found your blog, it was a very interesting read. I noticed you commenting on food labels and just thought would let you know that i have some labels printed by a british labels company for a really low price, i know they also do food labels so if at all interested it may be worth taking a look at their website.

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...

howl911.com, itchmo.com, thepetfoodlist.com, petconnection.com, petfoodtracker.com and spockosbrain.com 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 Itchmo.com.

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html – 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: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html