Original Post: So we were shocked to learn that the recall was announced 10-days after Menu Foods switched out their suspect supplier. Now, Reuters is reporting that “Menu Foods received the first of six complaints about kidney failure in pets on February 20.” It then waited 7 days to start its own testing, which they performed on 40-50 live cats and dogs. One cat died just 3 days later on March 2nd. The suspect supplier was pulled on March 6th.
The assertion that the first reports came in on February 20th is diputed by a Canadian newspaper and us.
It turns out that of the 10 pet deaths reported in the initial recall, 7 or more pets were in the test group, and Menu Foods waited 14 days to issue the recall after having conclusive evidence, not the 10 days we originally thought.
The FDA said at least seven, and perhaps all, of the 10 deaths, were linked to this tasting trial. Those trial-related deaths were out of a larger group of between 40 and 50 animals who were fed the product.
That’s a mortality rate of between 14% and 25%.
So let’s take that rate and apply that to the number crunching we did earlier. We estimated that about 533,000 pets potentially could have consumed this food. Which means that 74,000 pets could potentially die or be sickened. We’re hoping that early prevention by pet parents reduced the number (as the lab mortality rate is attributed to untreated pets) and that more packs of this food went unsold than our original estimate.
Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, told reporters he expected more pet deaths as the investigation continues.
This is going to be an enormous number of reported deaths and staggering unreported deaths. I hope we’re wrong. I pray that we’re wrong, so very wrong, about our estimates.