Chicken jerky treats made China are finally being recalled, but not for the reason you might think. Products of two brands are being pulled from store shelves: Nestle Purina PetCare Co.’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats, and Milo’s Kitchen’s Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.
They’re being pulled because they might contain traces of poultry antibiotics that aren’t approved in the U.S. On Wednesday, the companies said the chicken jerky products contain “minute amounts of antibiotic residue,” according to the AP. The antibiotics are not necessarily bad for dogs. They’ve been approved for use in China and the European Union by regulators, but not in the U.S.
The antibiotics include sulfaclozine, tilmicosin, trimethoprim, enrofloxacin, and sulfaquinoxaline, according to NBC News.
The New York State Department of Agriculture detected the antibiotics in samples they tested, using a “new, particularly sensitive test.” Joe Morrissey, a department spokesman, said the agency is testing jerky treats because of “growing consumer concerns.”
A spokesman for St. Louis-based Nestle Purina, Keith Schopp, was clear that this recall is a separate issue from the ongoing jerky treat mystery, in which Chinese-made jerky pet treats are suspected of sickening thousands of animals since 2007 and killing hundreds of them.
“There is no indication that the trace amounts of antibiotic residue is related to FDA’s ongoing investigation,” Schopp told NBC News. “Due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States.”
Even the FDA states that the antibiotics “do not raise health concerns” and that they are “highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.”
As for the ongoing investigation of jerky treats from China, the FDA has been unable to find a precise cause for the reported illnesses. But the agency says it’s taking the issue seriously and has put up a page on its site warning consumers about them and offering tips for their proper use, such as: “Do not substitute chicken jerky products for a balanced diet. The products are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.”
A better strategy would be to forgo them.
Consumers with questions about Milo’s Kitchen products can get further information at (877) 228-6493. Consumers with questions about Purina’s Wagging Train products can call (800) 982-0704 or go to www.waggintrainbrand.com.
Via NBC News