14 Brands Of Pet Food Recalled

Mars Petcare US is recalling 14 brands of dry dog and cat food made between February and July of this year, after two people who may have had contact with some of the food became infected with Salmonella. If you feed your dog or cat any of the brands listed below, here’s how to check the package code.

Recalled brands:

  • Pedigree
  • Ol’ Roy
  • Retriever
  • Paws & Claws
  • Member’s Mark
  • Natural Dog Food
  • Natural Cat Food
  • Doggy Bag
  • PMI Nutrition
  • Red Flannel
  • PetPride
  • Special Kitty
  • Country Acres
  • Wegman’s Bruiser
  • Wegman’s Buju & Ziggie


To check whether the package you have is part of the recall, look at the code under the “Best Before” date.

For Pedigree brand food:

Consumers should look for “PAE” on the bottom line – the sixth, seventh and eighth digits. Sample:
Best Before 02/2009
808G1PAE01 12:00

For all other brands:

Consumers should look for “17” as the first two digits of the second line. Sample:
Best By Feb 18 09
17 1445 1

If you find a match, wrap up the product according to FDA guidelines and take it back to the store where you purchased it for a refund.

Mars Petcare September 2008 Recall Information (Thanks to Liz!)
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. balthisar says:

    Oh, great. Just like with the ground beef e. coli scare, I no longer have the original packaging of course. At least with ground beef, I can cook it to 160 degrees, and not worry about e. coli, but I don’t cook my dog’s food.

    I’m reasonably sure that we don’t purchase “PEDIGREE Small Crunchy Bites,” but I’ll double check upon arriving home.

  2. The_IT_Crone says:

    I wonder if I got salmonella from my cat’s food. We never found the source. However it was so long ago I’ll never know- it’s not like I still have the cans/bags.

  3. seraphicstar says:

    … this again folks is why you feed your pet a quality food. good food is not necessarily more expensive than pedigree, in fact, its much less expensive for me to feed my dog $50 per bag food since he eats like 1/4 of a cup.
    these mars brand dog foods use all the crap trimmings of meat and bones.

    • Diet-Orange-Soda says:

      @seraphicstar: What do you consider good food? I think we feed our dog Iams Weight-Smart. How’s that in terms of quality? (We got him at five and didn’t want to change his food.)

      • PinkBox says:

        @Diet-Orange-Soda: Check out the ingredients. You don’t want anything that says water for processing, grains, or by-products for the first ingredients listed.

        I don’t feed my pets anything listed above. It is all pretty low quality. Seraphicstar is right that it is actually cheaper to go with high quality.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @Diet-Orange-Soda: See, the problem with most conventional dry and even wet foods (for dogs and cats) is that in order to cut costs, there is very very little, if any, real meat in there.
        Dog’s nutritional requirements are significantly less stringent than those of cats, however, they still should be eating meat and bones, not corn, not rice, not wheat.
        To make kibble, companies basically take your standard breakfast cereal, soak it in meat flavoring (which may or may not even be real) and package it up. Ever wonder why dog/cat food tastes so horrible? BECAUSE ITS FAKE.

      • @Diet-Orange-Soda: Shhh, even if you’re feeding your pet a restricted diet mandated by your veterinarian for your pet’s health problems, there are pet-food-fanatics who will tell you you’re killing your pet with inferior food!

        @theysaidwhat: “I wonder if any shelters work with owners in financial stress to help them from needing to surrender their animals? “

        Many do. And if you don’t have such a program locally, they’re very easy to start in conjunction with your local shelter, pet welfare agency, or pet fostering program. It’s usually pretty easy to get vets to sign on to do reduced-cost vaccinations and check-ups; the primary thing you’d have to organize is food, and you’d be surprised how very many people are willing to donate a big sack o’ pet food. And then you can do a toys-and-collars drive with school children to help raise awareness and get more involvement.

      • cashmerewhore says:

        @Diet-Orange-Soda:
        IAMS is pretty terrible as far as quality goes.

        Thanks to last year’s menu foods recall and a cat with a still unknown food allergy, I was feeding Fromms, and will be switching over to Natural Balance. Both can be purchased at petfooddirect.com

        All that said, my dogs eat Beneful, the White Castle of dog food.

        I tried.

        And to stay on topic, I would think the animals may run a small risk of catching salmonella, but yeah, wash your hands after handling the food.

        @Antediluvian:
        Petfooddirect.com always has codes (check currentcodes.com), might be cheaper to have it shipped to you. Ebates offers 5% cashback too.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @seraphicstar: I’ve noticed that as well – I bought some natural food for my cats, and the feeding requirements are much less than the other foods I’ve fed her before. Must be because there’s actually FOOD in there, not just cereal.

    • iMe2 says:

      @seraphicstar: Here, here. Find yourself a local small business that sells all-natural, regionally-distributed food. National brands are absolute garbage.

  4. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    …and here I was thinking that I should start sharing my dogs dinner from that huge bag in the cupboard, as it might be safer than people food… poison spinach, tomatoes, hot peppers, ground meat and burger recalls, and here in Canada a Listeria outbreak from Deli meats…

    Heck, I guess I should be hunt’n squirrels, chipmunks and birds like my dog. After all she does bring some of them home to offer to the rest of us. And, she’s remarkably healthy.

    Maybe we should all get a little bit closer to the source of our foods… I would bet the farmers just down the road would be a lot better off. I would also bet our local economies would be a lot better off, and since local farmers are our neighbours they might just care a little more about the safety and quality of their produce. We know where they live.

  5. MattO says:

    we feed science diet,, but just got a new puppy and got some natural food brand thing, i dunno that the breeder was feeding….now i gotta go home and check…

  6. demonradio says:

    If anyone is wondering about some good healthy foods (and not too expensive) for their pet I suggest checking out California Natural (or anything by Nutura, for that matter), Abady, Evangers, Fromm or Wellness. And a lot of kitties I know are huge fans of Weruva.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @demonradio: I’d add Canidae to that list. That’s what I use with my dog.

    • MentallyRetired says:

      @demonradio:

      I second California Natural. It has the shortest list of ingredients of any dry food.
      Whole Dog Journal publishes an annual list of recommended and not-recommended foods and how it came up with it’s recommendations, and I highly recommend the magazine.
      Here’s a basic rundown of their list for those that can’t find the magazine:
      [www.geocities.com]

  7. YoHenYo says:

    That’s ruff.

  8. theysaidwhat says:

    Here’s a good site that explains pet foods very well, without hawking any particular brand.

    And everyone should know that Mars now also owns Nutro. I took my dog off Nutro because of that. When people-food companies buy pet food companies, the quality nearly always declines…

    • johnva says:

      @theysaidwhat: A recurring phenomenon with pet food is that some big company will buy out a smaller brand that has developed a reputation for quality…and promptly downgrade the quality of its ingredients. Then they repeat this once the word spreads after a couple of years. Problem seems to be that if you do too well at selling good stuff, you become a takeover target.

      It’s also hard to get people to use good food because too many people shop purely based on the price of the package. They don’t even factor in differences in feeding requirements, much less nutrition and perhaps better health and lower vet bills.

  9. theysaidwhat says:

    Forgot to ad the site: [www.dogfoodproject.com]

  10. mbz32190 says:

    Well, it (was) nice to know Wegmans brand stuff was coming from a name brand company.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @mbz32190: Maybe, maybe not. Recalls could be based on manufacturing facilities that are producing several different brands or because all those brands use the same ingredient source. The Menu recall was due to both.

      It doesn’t mean that the formulations are identical, although they could be in some cases.

  11. oldheathen says:

    The sad reality is, not everyone can afford to buy expensive pet foods – buying cheaper pet food is probably one way people already living on the edge have had to economize.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @oldheathen: There is some truth to that, but when you figure out how much less you have to feed of a quality food than you do of a food that is mainly cereals, the price difference is not as great as one might originally suppose. That said, feeding your dog a lower quality food is better than surrendering or abandoning your animal. I wonder if any shelters work with owners in financial stress to help them from needing to surrender their animals? You raise a great point, oldheathen.

  12. Insparkle says:

    Here is the list that I share with people, that someone on the Something Awful forums put together.

    We feed our cats Innova Evo, and only spend $5/more a month than we were when we were buying Purina One or Science Diet. Too many people have the misconception that good pet food is that much more than low quality pet food.

    Ultra Premium

    Merrick / Merrick ‘Before Grains’
    TimberWolf Organics
    Wellness
    Prarie / Instinct
    Innova / Innova Evo / Evo / Ancestral
    Addiction
    Orijen
    Weruva

    Premium

    Chicken Soup
    Natural Balance
    Blue Buffalo
    Solid Gold
    Canidae
    Pinnacle

    Acceptable

    Iams
    Purina
    Diamond
    Eagle Pack
    Eukanuba
    Royal Canin

    Horrid

    Alpo
    Pedigree
    Regular Science Diet (non-prescription)
    Mainstay
    Kibbles and Bits
    Good Day Chunks

    • Ubik2501 says:

      @Insparkle: Is Science Diet really *that* bad? I adopted my dog from PAWS Chicago a month ago, and that’s what they feed all their dogs. He’s healthy, active and has zero health problems. I might try one of the foods further up the list, but I’d like to know what exactly is wrong with what I’m feeding my dog now.

      • Sanveann says:

        @Ubik2501: Science Diet and Iams aren’t AWFUL, but they certainly aren’t the cream of the crop. They’re a lot better than Ol’ Roy and the other crap that’s listed in the story, though.

        We feed the dog Innova’s large-breed formula, and he does great on it. (Shameful admission: Our kitties eat Iams. I think DH started buying it awhile back and I don’t know why … I need to start transitioning them to something better. Can’t do it all at once or it’ll by barforama for my Siamese with the sensitive tummy.)

      • Sanveann says:

        @Ubik2501: Forgot to add … check out the http://www.dogfoodproject.com link mentioned above. The site does a great job of explaining what the ingredients in pet food actually MEAN.

        Incidentally, take a look at the first few ingredients in Science Diet’s original dry food for adult dogs: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Wheat … it starts with chicken, but then it’s grain, grain, grain.

        By comparison, Innova’s first four ingredients are: Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal and Barley.

      • cashmerewhore says:

        @Ubik2501:

        Science Diet still uses junk parts of the animal in their food — listed as “by-product” on the label. That consists of beaks, legs, whatever else you wouldn’t think of eating off the chicken yourself….

        • sinfonian94 says:

          @cashmerewhore:
          Absolutely no “beaks, legs, etc.” in Science Diet. If you check the Guaranteed Analysis on the side of the bag, SD has a lower calcium amount than most (as most foods put WAYYYY too much calcium into their recipes). Too much of something is just as bad as not enough. If SD’s by product meal had all the junk in it, their calcium count would be through the roof. Think about it.

    • Tiber says:

      @Insparkle: I think you forgot Nutro on the horrid list.

      Generally speaking, the big brands are the ones to avoid. Science Diet is only “vet recommended” because they sell it to the vets cheap. It’s garbage that pretends to be quality.

      My pets used to get the cheap stuff (in my defense, I recently got out of school, and my mom was the one buying it), before I joined the workforce, and before a pet expert made me realize what I was doing wrong.

      Her advice (at least for dogs) was to look at the ingredients, particularly the first five. Good brands will have at least 2 of the 5 as meat (“by-products” don’t count, but “meal” I believe does). Things like beet pulp and peanut husk are fillers, and you want these to be at the bottom of the list, if at all. If the ingredient sounds low quality, it probably is.

      People, be willing to spend a bit extra. You don’t have to get the best of the best, but at least give the animal some nutrition. Better brands have less filler and more nutrition, so a bag lasts longer. Also, even the best brands cost about as much to feed a good-sized dog for a month as you spend on a week’s worth of food for you. Paying $10 more for a bag works out to maybe an extra $.50 a day. I think most people can afford that.

      • johnva says:

        @Tiber: I agree, and I would add that the cost difference is far less overall when it comes to cats because they eat so much less than a good-sized dog. We feed our two cats the very best commercial foods, and it’s an almost totally insignificant expense compared to proper veterinary care, etc. I really don’t understand the point of cheaping out when the difference is like $5 a month.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @Insparkle: Science Diet is NOT a horrid food. The amount of misinformation about ingredients out there is ridiculous. SD does use meat by products, but those by products are organ meats, and parts of the animal that are actually much richer in nutrients than breast meat, for instance. The only thing that makes something a by product is if it isn’t the main item that the animal is being used for. For example, gizzards, livers, hearts, etc are all more rich in nutrients than most other parts of an animal, but are considered by products because most humans only want to eat breasts, legs, and thighs (in the case of chicken). Just because some foods use low quality by products does not mean that all by products are low quality.
      Also, the whole grains are bad for pets is totally false.

  13. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    So it looks like Pedigree & the cheap crap from Wally World are the same thing?
    Who’d have thunk it?

  14. ZoeSchizzel says:

    Those are all terrible brands of pet food. Full of corn and other fillers that go in one end and out the other, leaving you with a yard full of stinky soft serve. Your dog will stink too, and be prone to smelly skin and ear infections. AND you aren’t saving any money because you’ve got to feed two to three times more than a premium brand in order to meet nutritional requirements. Just a bad value all around.

  15. Parting says:

    Woohoo, didn’t buy any of those foods. My pet is safe, for now.

  16. I approve of this post because it includes a photo of a bearded collie, the greatest dogs on earth.

  17. stacye says:

    I’m surprised the Purina Fit & Trim is not on this list.

    For weeks they would throw up every other day. I thought maybe it was something they were putting on our lawn at our apartment complex.

    I switched them off the Fit and Trim to Iams, and they seem fine now.

  18. HogwartsAlum says:

    I’ve been feeding Meow Mix and so far it has escaped the recalls. I might try the Iams like stacye suggested because Kitteh barfs a lot. Maybe it’s screwed up and they just don’t know it.

    • johnva says:

      @HogwartsAlum: Or he could just be barfing because it’s a crap food.

      @ToadKillerDog: Survival is not the same thing as optimum health. You could probably survive a long time eating nothing but rice, but it wouldn’t exactly be good for you.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @johnva:

        Well, she doesn’t throw up when I feed the soft food. I do that three days a week. I guess I’ll ask the vet. She might need that hairball stuff again. I’ve been brushing her this summer to help with that.

      • ToadKillerDog says:

        @johnva:
        Well, that litter of dogs is the closest to real science that I have seen for a long time. Our old dog was fine until near the end.

  19. ToadKillerDog says:

    We buy our food at Wally World and Jewel. Haven’t checked the codes yet. He has been eating it and acting fine though.

    To all those who are dumping on the cheap dreck we buy….. Our previous dog was the longest survivor of her entire litter. The other owners were boasting of the quality of the food they fed when we had a litter reunion. (It actually was kinda strange fun.) We fed our dog on generic and jewel brands.

    I advocate saving the money with generics and spending that money on important things like rock and roll.

  20. Antediluvian says:

    We switched from exclusively Iams to exclusively Wellness a year or two ago. Very happy w/ Wellness, and now Petco carries it so it’s easier to find.

    Still expensive (more expensive at Petco than local supplier), but I’m happy to pay the premium.

  21. Underpants Gnome says:

    Thankfully, starbucks oatmeal was absent from the list.

  22. bobosgirl says:

    We feed our dogs Natural Choice, because our shitzu/pug has very sensitive skin, and we got tired of medicating her. NC has a blend just for sensitive skin, and it also helped take care of our Pugs EXTREME gas problem. I get it at Coastal Farm & Ranch, but I think Petco carries it,too. Most of the foods on that list, other than Pedigree, are garbage. Our vet told us that the crappier food you feed your dog, the larger percentage of nutrition just “goes out in the wash,” if you get my drift. You’ll also have gigantic “piles” to pick up, rather than smaller ones.
    To cashmerewhore: we used to feed our chihuahua Beneful- it is nice stuff- :( We had to put her down in 2004, 7 days after we got married- she was a sweet girl.

    • cashmerewhore says:

      @bobosgirl:

      I’m sorry to hear about your chi.

      My vet & I have had many discussions about what we feed our animals (I’m afraid the cats love beneful as much as the dogs do, so we can’t leave any uneaten food out for them to “snack” on).

      • bobosgirl says:

        Thanks- we got her about 2 months after we had to put our 10 month old dachsund mini to sleep for its extreme health problems. She originally belonged to an elderly lady who had to be put in a home, and had been in foster care. She had 8 wonderful, spoiled years with us, loved cats, and came with the perfect name for all the goodness she brought to our family- “Carma.” We used to joke with friends that we had good karma at our house. @cashmerewhore:

  23. Saboth says:

    Great, it will only costs $5 in gas to return $5 of food.

  24. kryrinn says:

    Beware of Canidae! It used to be excellent stuff, but they changed their formula last month, and its caused all sorts of issues (mostly bc they didnt label it as new or bother to tell anyone – giant shock to lots of poor dogs’ digestive systems). My dog will be off once he finishes his current (old formula) bag and probably on Natural Choice or Merrick’s.

    • maestrosteve says:

      @kryrinn:
      “Beware of Canidae! It used to be excellent stuff, but they changed their formula last month, and its caused all sorts of issues (mostly bc they didnt label it as new or bother to tell anyone – giant shock to lots of poor dogs’ digestive systems). “

      That’s true about Canidae. They did change their formula without telling anyone, and my dog had some digestive system problems, but that was only because he wasn’t changed to the new food gradually, not because the formula isn’t any good anymore.

      I do think the new formula is superior. My dog also likes it better than the old formula and he devours it as soon as we put it out, not like before. Checking out the ingredients, it appears to be better. I am pissed off that they didn’t warn anyone and the bag wasn’t labeled “new formula” and didn’t look any different, but now that my dog’s system has adjusted, I’m staying with it.

  25. thelushie says:

    Well, I called my local Kroger about the pet food recall and bringing back what is left without a receipt. He had not heard anything about the recall and did the “hmm” like “You are lying”. Called the contact number for Kroger, 1-866-221-4141, hit 1 for info on the recall, and then spoke with a woman who confirmed my bag was on the list. She put me through to customer service about the manager not knowing about the recall. She told me it was only in Michigan. And then did the same “hmm” thing when I told her that I was looking at the press release and it said it was nationwide. So basically I am a big fat liar. And Kroger has lost a customer. Not that they care. (Oh, and I am printing out a copy of the press release and taking it down to the Kroger on 5th Ave. in Huntington West Virginia.)

  26. t0fu says:

    just another plus to using nutromax :)

  27. TrixieKitten says:

    Also: [www.dogfoodanalysis.com]

    They have done all the reviewing for you, and they do an excellent job of explaining their reviews.

  28. ZoeSchizzel says:

    When I worked at a local shelter in adoptions, we told people to buy the best food for your pet that you can afford. If the best you can afford is a no-grain food, get that. If the best you can afford is no corn, get that. If you can only afford the lower end brands (or only have easy access to them), at least make sure that a meat source is the #1 ingredient on the list. Remember that unlike people — who eat a wide variety of foods (some wholesome and some not), a dog’s diet comes from that one bag, so it isn’t like he can pig out burgers and fries and make up for it by eating soup and salad the next day.

    Everyone will have stories about how their dog ate nothing but Ol’Roy and lived for 20 years, and yes, that happens, but more typically, dogs on a poor diet do not live as long, and they have more health problems. I have four sizeable dogs on Orijen. It’s pricey, but my house does not smell like dog. My yard does not smell like poop. And honestly we aren’t the best about picking up the yard and keeping the house clean. My oldest dog — an 11-year-old Shepherd mix — looks half his age, and my dogs have not been to the vet for anything other than shots in four years.

  29. bagumpity says:

    Aren’t some of these the same brands that were recalled a while back for containing melamite?

  30. balthisar says:

    Hmmm… from the comments, it looks like the e. coli is only making people sick, and not the dogs?

    In any case, maybe I learned something more important — I didn’t realize Pedigree was held in such low regard. I wouldn’t have imagined it, as it’s certainly not the cheapest thing on the shelf!

    Any tips for weening a dog off of one food and on to another? She’s been eating Pedigree since we got her at six months; that’s seven years. She’s in perfect health, too.

    • jennj99738 says:

      @balthisar:

      Balthisar, mix the Pedigree with the new food, little by little decreasing the Pedigree until it’s all new food. That’s the best way to help the dog adjust to the new food.

      The other dog food site I use to check the quality of food is: [www.dogfoodanalysis.com]

      The only other caveat I would have is to be careful when feeding no-grain food to large dogs. It’s the healthiest food out there but it can cause bloat which can be fatal. For large dogs, it’s better to feed smaller quantities more often or use a food with a high quality grain like oatmeal. Ask your vet or read a good holistic veterinary medicine book to learn more about what to feed your dog. I am not advocating a raw food diet either, too time consuming and you can get the ratios wrong.

      It’s totally unnecessary to feed garbage food to your dog. You have to feed more of the low quality food than the high quality so the price difference ends up minimal. And that’s not considering the vet bills.

      • balthisar says:

        @jennj99738: Thanks for the tip and the site! Based on both of those and some more research (including local availability), I settled on Innova. We’ll wait until most of the Pedigree is gone, and then start slowly mixing it. I gave her (our dog) a small sampling, and she seemed to really like it. She’s normally a pig, so I’ll make sure that we do more, smaller portions so she won’t bloat up.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @balthisar: As Jenny said, you want to do the change slowly, since you are not in an emergency situation.

      Try 25% new food and 75% old food for three days. If there are no tummy upsets or bathroom changes, go up to 50% of old and new for three days. Again, if all is well, you can go up to 75% new and 25% old. You see how this works. If there is tummy up et, either go back to the last mix for a few days or hold where you are depending on severity.

      I was aware that Canidae has had a formula change. They advertised it pretty well on their website and you can click back and forth between the new and old formulations to compare. My dog only eats 1 Cup of food per day and I always buy the biggest bag possible, so we have months before we’ll start the switch to the new. But I do understand many people were surprised.

      There’s no single dog food that’s best for all dogs. Some dogs do well on foods that would not work for others. But it never hurts to understand what’s really in the food your are using. That’s where some of the websites noted here can be helpful in selecting what works for your animal(s).

  31. therinth says:

    My cat started having severe intestinal issues a few months ago. She’d been eating Nature’s Choice exclusively. I spent $$$ at the vet making sure she didn’t have any parasites, only to find out that she had colitis.

    So i did research online, and instead of going to the Petsmart, i went to our local small town upscale store. The guy there recommended that I put her on Evo, which i did, it’s completely cleared up her problems.

    He also said that Mars had bought out Nature’s Choice not that long ago — which is probably when her stomach issues began ;P.

  32. Rachacha says:

    FInally, something useful to come out of the grocery store shopping cards…although I got this in an E-mail for dog food, but NOT for the “springy” bagles that Wegmans recalled last week…hmm

    We placed automated calls to Wegmans customers who used their Shoppers Club Card when purchasing the recalled products. Because some customers may not have used their card, and because we may not have updated phone numbers for everyone, I am also sending this note….”

  33. Rhyss says:

    I have four cats and I used to feed them friskies wet and iams dry. After the pet food fiasco I went a little nuts – I’m not ashamed to admit it:) Bottom line is that I now feed my cats Eaglepack – Holistic Select – both wet and dry – I did my research – trust me(I scared my friends.) My cats both act and look better – I sucked my mom into my madness too – her two cats are both doing very well on the food. I know all things are relative – but all us pet food folks considered the recall the “Canary in the coal mine.” The FDA hasn’t responded to my satisfaction ever.

  34. disneyninja says:

    I always check these recalls just to check, but I’d never feed my animals that garbage. I have two Shih Tzus and they are on Innova EVO small bites. Not only is it better for them, but due to the fact that it contains no grain its equivalent to the “allergy” formulas for other brands. My poor dog Douglas had always had bad skin problems, but after switching to Natural Balance, then Innova his skin has cleared up dramatically. I’ve also started baking treats for them at home. I know whats in them and they are fresh.

  35. balthisar says:

    Oh, and meant to add, that the Innova wasn’t significantly more expensive than Pedigree, especially at specialty shop prices (in this case, some outfit called Pet Supplies Plus, which was kind of like going into a classic hardware store, except it’s all pet stuff).