Wilbur-Ellis Voluntarily Recalls Rice Protein Concentrate
SAN FRANCISCO April 18, 2007 Wilbur-Ellis Company is voluntarily recalling all lots of the rice protein concentrate the San Francisco companys Feed Division has shipped to pet-food manufacturers because of a risk that rice protein concentrate may have been contaminated by melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers that can lead to illness or fatalities in animals if consumed.
Wilbur-Ellis noted that it obtained rice protein from a single source in China and shipped to a total of five U.S. pet-food manufacturers located in Utah, N.Y., Kansas and two in Missouri.
Last Sunday, April 15, Wilbur-Ellis notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that a single bag in a recent shipment of rice protein concentrate from its Chinese supplier, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd., had tested positive for melamine. Unlike the other white-colored bags in that shipment, the bag in question was pink and had the word melamine” stenciled upon it. Wilbur-Ellis separated that bag and quarantined the entire shipment for further testing and since that time, no further deliveries of rice protein concentrate have been made. Samples from the white bags tested negative for melamine. However, subsequent and potentially more sensitive tests by the FDA came back positive for melamine, leading Wilbur-Ellis to voluntarily issue the recall.
Wilbur-Ellis began importing rice protein concentrate from Binzhou Futian Biology Technology in July 2006. A total of 14 containers holding 336 metric tons of rice protein concentrate were sent from Futian to Wilbur-Ellis. Wilbur-Ellis has distributed 155 metric tons to date.
On Monday (April 16), a pet food distributor issued a voluntary recall of its pet food, believing the source of contamination to be rice protein concentrate supplied by Wilbur-Ellis. As an additional precaution, Wilbur-Ellis is urging all pet food manufacturers using rice protein concentrate supplied through Wilbur-Ellis to recall any pet food that may be on supermarket shelves.
Consumers with questions about the pet food they use should visit the FDA Web site at www.fda.gov.