I can’t believe there is still tainted, recalled food on the shelves! And even if it is on the shelves, why aren’t the stores putting “stop buy” orders in their computers that register the price, etc.? If stores can register prices, then they can put a hold on those products so they are not sold. At some point, the stores should become liable for allowing pet food known to be poisoned from being sold. Perhaps that’s why the store’s communication manager is so anxious to step forward. I hope the store is at the very least covering all of Rasputin’s vet bills and subsequent care and drugs.
Normally I would list this article only under Recall News but I am very concerned that there is more bad food still sitting on shelves. I want all of us to stay aware and make sure our furbabies don’t get it so I’m putting this under Recall Alerts as well.
Thanks to the Modesto Bee for this article.
Cat survives eating recalled food, so far
By SUSAN HERENDEEN
Last Updated: June 10, 2007
Months after a nationwide recall, Andy Tonetti bought tainted cat food from the Save Mart in Angels Camp.
After eating only six pouches of Iams Select Bites, 14-year-old Rasputin was hiding in dark spaces, gagging and losing weight from dehydration.
Six days after Tonetti’s purchase on May 29, a veterinarian said the family pet had acute renal failure, the ailment the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned about at the time of the recall.
“I saw a sale, thought ‘Good, we’ll get that,'” Tonetti said, noting that his wife had sent him to get Fancy Feast. “Geez, we got the death box.”
Ten days later, Save Mart could not explain why a single box of recalled pet food was on the shelf, especially after so much publicity about an industrial chemical that had been added to Chinese wheat gluten used by pet food manufacturers.
But the company was offering apologies.
“We will do whatever we need to do to make it right, or as right as we can make it, given the situation,” Alicia Rockwell, Save Mart’s communications manager, said Friday afternoon. “We are so sorry.”
Heidi Tonetti, Andy’s wife, said she started hammering away at the situation Monday, after she took her cat to a veterinarian for emergency treatment.
When the estimate for the first two days of treatment exceeded $500, the Tonettis thought they might have to make an ugly decision about Rasputin’s future.
But the only change in the indoor cat’s life was his food, so the culprit seemed clear. After a bit of research, the Tonettis learned that the Iams pouches Andy Tonetti bought had been out of circulation for weeks.
Their veterinarian urged them to save the cat, and faxed documentation to the pet food company, which is expected to pay Rasputin’s bills.
“Iams told me I’m the first one to call after the recall,” said Heidi Tonetti, adding that the company seemed eager to take care of the situation.
Kurt Iverson, a spokesman for Proctor & Gamble Pet Care, which makes Iams pet foods, declined to comment on the Tonettis’ claim.
The Tonettis assumed other cats, and perhaps some dogs, might be in danger as well. They said the manager at Save Mart seemed to think they were crazy, but passed their complaint along to corporate headquarters.
Rockwell said she has been trying to reach the Tonettis, without luck.
She said Save Mart took their complaint seriously and performed a computerized check of its sales, determining that one recalled box of Iams Select Bites was sold May 29.
She said all Save Marts, including the store in Angels Camp, pulled pet food off their shelves when recalls of more than 150brands were announced March 15, leaving large gaps in their inventory.
Save Mart will take steps to make sure recalled items don’t get past cashiers in the future, perhaps by adjusting computerized scanning systems, Rockwell said.
She could only speculate on how the single box of Iams ended up on the shelf. Perhaps it was misplaced in another part of the store, she said, then was returned to the shelf by a stock clerk.
“The product has been out of the distribution channel for over 10 weeks and there is none left at the warehouse or at the manufacturer,” Rockwell said.
Andy Tonetti, a winemaker at Ironstone Vineyards, recalled seeing only one box of Iams on the shelf. He said he chose it because it was marked down. He did not have a receipt, but recalled paying about $4.
Rasputin has been getting fluids intravenously at the Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital and is expected to recover.