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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2008
FDA Requests Seizure of Animal Food Products at PETCO
Today, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), U.S. Marshals seized various animal food products stored
under unsanitary conditions at the PETCO Animal Supplies
Distribution Center located in Joliet, Ill., pursuant to a
warrant issued by the United States District Court in Chicago.
U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated animal food susceptible
to rodent and pest contamination. The seized products violate
the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because it was alleged
in a case filed by the United States Attorney that they were
being held under unsanitary conditions. (The Act uses the term
"insanitary" to describe such conditions).
During an FDA inspection of a PETCO distribution center in
April, widespread and active rodent and bird infestation was
found. The FDA inspected the facility again in May and found
continuing and widespread infestation.
"We simply will not allow a company to store foods under filthy
and unsanitary conditions that occur as a direct result of the
company's failure to adequately control and prevent pests in its
facility," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, associate commissioner for
regulatory affairs. "Consumers expect that such safeguards will
be in place not only for human food, but for pet food as well."
The distribution center in Joliet, Ill., provides pet food
products and supplies to PETCO retail stores in 16 states
including Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
FDA has no reports of pet illness or death associated with
consumption of animal food distributed by PETCO, and does not
have evidence that the food is unsafe for animals. However, the
seized products were in permeable packages and held under
conditions that could affect the food's integrity and quality.
As a precaution, consumers who have handled products originating
from the PETCO distribution center should thoroughly wash their
hands with hot water and soap. Any surfaces that came in contact
with the packages should be washed as well. Consumers are
further advised as a precaution to thoroughly wash products sold
in cans and glass containers from PETCO in the 16 affected states.
If a pet has become ill after eating these food products, pet
owners should contact their veterinarian and report illnesses to
FDA state consumer complaint coordinators.
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