Tuesday, December 1, 2015

RECALL: Blue Buffalo recalls Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones

Product has potential to be contaminated with Salmonella
Blue Buffalo Co. is voluntarily recalling one production lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones. This is being done in an abundance of caution, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The product was distributed starting November 19, 2015, in PetSmart stores located in the following 9 states: California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The recalled product comes individually shrink-wrapped in plastic with the UPC number 840243110087 printed on a sticker affixed to the product, and an expiration date of November 4, 2017, printed as “exp 110417” on the shrink-wrap. Consumers should look at the UPC Code and expiration date on the product package to determine if it is subject to the voluntary recall.
Routine testing at the manufacturing site revealed the presence of Salmonella in the product. No illnesses have been reported to date and no other Blue Buffalo products are affected.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Other clinical signs may include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare provider.
Consumers who have purchased the product subject to this recall are urged to dispose of the product or return it to the place of purchase for full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact Blue Buffalo at +1.888.641.9736 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, or by email at Bluebuffalo4260@stericycle.com for more information.

Wellness Natural, HSUS team up on Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
This year, The Humane Society of the United States’ #GivingTuesday campaign aims to raise US$100,000. The money will help fund its Pets for Life program’s essential animal care services in December. Those services include spay/neuter surgeries, veterinary care, and supplies that are unavailable and oftentimes unaffordable in under-served areas of the country. With every US$1 donated, Wellness Natural Pet Food will provide one bowl of food to help feed pets in the program.
Donors will help make pets happy and healthy by giving them the care that they need, especially during the busy and cold holiday season.

Cargill’s Empyreal product receives safety certification

Cargill recently received certification in the manufacturing process of its Empyreal animal food ingredient product. The Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 validates Cargill’s robust food safety management system for its Empyreal production process in Blair, Nebraska, and Dayton, Ohio, that meets the safety and quality requirements of major branded feed companies worldwide.
In order to receive the certification, Cargill’s facilities went through rigorous review in which a number of key areas were audited: management responsibility, planning and realization of safe products, pre-requisite programs, emergency response/preparedness planning, traceability, validation, verification and improvement.
FSSC 22000 is a food safety management system that provides a framework for effectively managing an organization's food safety responsibilities. FSSC 22000 is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and provides a global approach to drive continual improvement in food safety management and provide confidence across the supply chain.
Empyreal processing is the first in the United States to receive the FSSC 22000 certification by Lloyd’s Registry Quality Assurance. In addition to this certification, Empyreal production facilities are Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Voluntary Protection Programs (OSHA VPP) - and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000-certified.
"Achieving the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 is extremely demanding as it closely examines every process and procedure which impacts the manufacturing of the Empyreal product line,” said Eric Bell, Cargill assistant vice president. "The FSSC 22000 certification validates our commitment to being a leader in innovative, high quality, safe animal food ingredients which our customers can depend on to help them provide safe high quality products that meet the certification standards their customers expect from them.”

Monday, November 30, 2015

GfK: Grain-free pet food has potential to outgrow natural

“Natural” pet food may get all the headlines, but grain-free is the engine powering the natural juggernaut. New data from GfK’s point-of-sale pet panel, which represents more than 11,000 pet specialty stores, shows that grain-free dog and cat food now accounts for one-third (34%) of all pet food sales, and 48% of the “natural” category.
Overall, grain-free SKUs brought in $2.6 billion in the past year (October 2014 to September 2015), a growth rate of 25%. Dog items accounted for $2.1 billion of those sales, with grain-free dog treats spiking a remarkable 43% year over year. And grain-free items now represent 46% of all sales in the Dog Wet category.
In some ways, grain-free’s success is a matter of sheer quantity; 45% of all pet food items introduced in the past year were grain-free – 1,557 new products, compared to 1,355 during the previous 12 months.
Another reason for grain-free’s elevated revenue is the category’s hefty price per pound – $3.01, on average; that is 26% higher than the overall pet food figure of $2.39 per pound.
“Grain-free has the potential to outgrow the natural category, because it also reaches into non-natural food and treats,” said Maria Lange, business group director of GfK’s POS Tracking (Pet) team. “Without grain-free, the natural category would be declining in growth – and we think grain-free’s potential is far from spent. Cat SKUs, in particular, represent an untapped opportunity for new grain-free sales gains.”
GfK’s POS pet panel in the US helps both retailers and manufacturers make smarter decisions. Pet specialty stores can gain free insights into the marketplace simply by sharing their sales data with GfK; and manufacturers can obtain unmatched reports on nationwide trends, as well as the performance of their own products and of competitors.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dogs get scratch and sniff book for holidays

‘Is That My Dinner?’ taps into dogs’ keen sense of smell

Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners (RTO+P) has released a playful holiday scratch and sniff book just for dogs, called “Is That My Dinner?” for the healthy, human-­grade pet food company, The Honest Kitchen.
To showcase The Honest Kitchen’s product and to communicate the benefits of feeding pets healthy grade food, “Is That My Dinner?” taps into the one thing we all know our dogs love – smelling. In partnership with illustrator Annie Davidson, who co-­designed and executed the artwork, “Is That My Dinner?” is a story about a hopeful puppy, scratching and sniffing his way through a holiday party in search of a proper holiday meal. Throughout the book, the readers/smellers are taken through a selection of scratch and sniff scents including pumpkin and peppermint.
“We thought it would be super fun to really think outside of the box and create a slightly retro holiday campaign that would showcase our recipes in a unique way,” said The Honest Kitchen CEO Lucy Postins. “We wanted to highlight the difference between our human grade whole foods for pets and conventional kibble and cans, which most dogs and cats eat. RTO+P has done an incredible job devising the idea of a scratch and sniff book, and we’re excited to show it off as we get closer and closer to extra treat season.”
A perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays, each copy of “Is That My Dinner?” will be available nationwide at retail stores and will contain samples of The Honest Kitchen’s “Embark” and “Love” products as part of the bundle. RTO+P has also created a new website www.isthatmydinner.com, featuring coupons redeemable in stores and will handle the social media on Facebook and Twitter.
“The Honest Kitchen has been a perfect partner throughout this creative process, even helping out with getting our smells right,” said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer at RTO+P. “That’s what we love about THK – they’re not afraid to take risks and like us, they really, really love dogs.”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

FDA releases final foreign supplier rule

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its final rule for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Food for Humans and Animals. This rule is part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Most importers will be required to comply with FDA’s FSVP rule in May 2017 (18 months after publication).
FDA defines an FSVP as a program that verifies “that (importers’) foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as the preventive controls or produce safety regulations, as appropriate, and to ensure that the supplier’s food is not adulterated and is not misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.” The FSVP rule covers importers of food and beverages, which FDA defines as “the US owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the United States.” If there is no US owner or consignee, the exporter’s US agent is the importer.
Importers must create an FSVP for each food imported from each foreign supplier. If they import the same food from two different suppliers, that will require two FSVPs. One element of an FSVP is a hazard analysis. Importers must determine potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards posed by each food they import.
Importers must also evaluate the performance of each of their foreign suppliers and use that evaluation to approve suppliers. This includes evaluating each supplier’s history of compliance with FDA food safety regulations, “including whether the foreign supplier is the subject of an FDA warning letter or import alert.” Importers should only import from approved foreign suppliers.
For approved foreign suppliers, importers must determine appropriate supplier verification activities, conduct those activities, and conduct corrective actions. Examples of verification activities may include annual on-site audits of a supplier’s facility, sampling and testing, and review of a supplier’s food safety records. Importers should choose verification activities that appropriately fit the risks of each supplier.
Importers may designate a third party to conduct a hazard analysis, a supplier risk evaluation, or to perform verification activities on their behalf. Registrar Corp’s food safety specialists can develop or review a food safety plan that identifies potential hazards associated with a food or supplier and a plan to control those hazards. Registrar Corp also offers an FDA Compliance Monitor, which food facilities may use to monitor their foreign suppliers for FDA inspections, warning letters, import alerts and import refusals. The monitor is updated consistently, allowing importers to take prompt corrective action.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kaleb’s Organics treats earn Non-GMO Project Verification

Kaleb’s Organics’ all-natural, organic, made-in-the-USA dog treats have earned the Non-GMO Project Verification. Obtaining this verification emphasizes the brands promise to create the highest quality treats for animal companions. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only independent verification for products made according to rigorous best practices for GMO (genetically modified organisms) avoidance.
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated through genetic engineering, which critics say creates unstable combinations of genes that do not occur naturally and can contribute to allergies. Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have never been properly tested for human or pet safety, according to opponents of GMOs.
Kaleb’s Organics full line of dog treats are Non-GMO Project verified, meaning that these items have met the consensus-based standard that includes GMO risk assessment, traceability, segregation and testing at critical control points to verify that ingredients are not genetically modified.
“Consumers are becoming more health conscious in their pets’ diets, and want to know what’s in their food. Research shows there are many concerns regarding GMOs and we feel it’s important to avoid these ingredients at all costs,” said Deborah Viney of Kaleb's Organics. “Kaleb’s Organics is committed to providing safe, healthy and high-quality dog treats. We’re so proud to have met the Non-GMO Project’s thorough guidelines and have obtained their verification stamp of approval.”