A story in USA Today provides a primer on pet food manufacturing, it’s regulation, and its overall safety.
Also in USA Today, a possible explanation for why you couldn’t get through to Menu over the weekend: “Call centers hired by the company received 47,000 calls over the weekend.” That works out to almost 2000 calls per hour, 32 per minute, one call every two seconds.
Pet owners are angry, says New York Times.
The Times business section explains that not all pet food manufacturers produce food for multiple brands. Nestlé avoids contract work. Del Monte works almost exclusively for WalMart. Perhaps because of this, Menu is the major player in wet pet foods: “Virtually any major retailer that sells pet food relies on Menu,” says a PetsMart spokesperson. The story also includes a handy history of Menu Foods from its founding in 1971 to the current crisis and sheds some light on why the company’s official name is “Menu Foods Income Fund.”
We didn’t supply the wheat gluten, says MGP Ingredients in a press release. Apparently they’d been feeling some heat and decided to nip any rumors in the bud. Their last shipment of wheat gluten to Menu Foods was over eighteen months ago, according to the release.
A woman in South Carolina bought over $1000 of food manufactured by Menu and plans to throw it away “so no animals eat it.” If it goes in the landfill . . ., oh, never mind. No doubt someone has already recommended that she instead donate the (nonrecalled) food to a local animal shelter.
At least one pet insurance company has started to receive claims related to the food recall.