NEW RECALL: Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Formula for Dogs Recalled

We have been able to confirm that Nutra Nuggets (made by Diamond Pet Foods) is recalling their 40 pound Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Formula for Dogs. The contaminated batch’s product code is #NLR0404 and the Best Buy dates are October 9-10, 2008. We spoke with a vet at the Nutra Nuggets recall line and he said that so far, they had only heard of 2 cases in which the dogs had renal diseases (confirming the news report from yesterday).

He said that it was due to cross-contamination due to food being produced for Natural Balance (Natural Balance had recalls in mid-April). At this time, he said that no other food produced by Nutra Nuggets was being recalled.

(Updated) Itchmo readers and PetsitUSA found out that the contaminated Nutra Nuggets were sold at Costco locations in CA, WA, OR, AZ, and NV.

272 Responses to “NEW RECALL: Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Formula for Dogs Recalled”

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  1. Jo says:

    JanC –Thanks very much for the news on Dr. Pion’s test results. That is good to know!!

  2. martin says:


    I noticed that as well on the propac. Evangers is on the way (DRY). I’m not comfortable with any wet food for now.

    Helen, Through all this you can still bring a smile to my face. Your kitty butt’s comments crack me up.

  3. Genny says:


    PLEASE say that applies to animals, only. Otherwise I am going to feel like my cats did when I quit feeding their favorite food. ))) :

    What you posted was some of the same as the previous discussion I was speaking of. I don’t remember what was the final concensus among everyone involved except that the fruity flesh *might* be ok. I would be a little leery of the pit or skin accidently getting in the mix, though. Personally, I’d never heard of the brand before nor have I used it since.

    Hard to imagine a pet food company actually putting something wholesome into food that would be harmful. They tend to save that for nasty, poisonous, unlabeled chemicals, don’t they?

  4. kellie says:

    i understand. i feel wet is necessary for my young kitties.
    I will try the wet in those 2 brands and report my results.

  5. Helen says:

    Martin, I am still spitting out cat fur. :)

  6. Helen says:

    Genny, just keep all the furry fuzzbutts out of the avocado while you are munching. Remember, you can eat chocolate but your pets can’t. (Whew!)

  7. martin says:


    I know what you mean. They need some wet stuff. I have been feeding my kitten Honest Kitchen and she loves it. But that girl would eat a paper towel….???

    I had the trial pack I purchased tested and it was ok. I think I’ll go ahead and get a big package of it (have it tested too).

  8. martin says:

    Helen, LOL at you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Mandy says:

    It all comes down to money. Money, money, money. We should call ourselves the United States of Money.

  10. Genny says:


    That won’t be too hard. Both fortunately and unfortunately they don’t like people food.

    Whatever you do, just don’t tell me I shouldn’t eat chocolate. I know that will be next and I just really don’t think I could take that or want to know….even though it has been in the back of my mind. Pushing it way back there.

  11. Amy says:

    Helen - I feel the same way about wine as you do chocolate! How would I have made it this far through this mess without kitty-mommy’s little helper?

    Okay, now you all think I’m an alchi! LOL!

  12. Helen says:

    Genny, I will not be telling anyone not to eat chocolate! They would sic their hungry confused pets on me! Hee hee.

  13. Amy says:

    Oops! I meant Ginny. Damn, I’ve only had half a glass, I swear! Okay, I need to go to bed! Early day of dropping off kidney cat at the vet for weekly tests tomorrow - wish us luck!

  14. martin says:


    I’m with you about the helper through all this. Mine is Coor’s Light.

  15. Genny says:


    Only half a glass. That’s the problem.

    Hey, good luck and good news tomorrow!!

  16. jean s says:

    Was in my independent pet food supplier tonight, buying more cat food, and overheard the owner telling her husband that Merrick’s is going to discontinue their free sample bags of dry dog food: it’s been costing them $100 a day because so many people have “stocked up” on sample bags. They will continue to produce a sample-sized bag, but not for free.

  17. martin says:


    Much luck to you and your kitty.

  18. martin says:

    Pet Food Supply DOWN 4%. Liquor Sales Up 8%

  19. Genny says:

    Martin, Amy,

    If alchohol didn’t hurt my head so bad I’d surely be knocking some back. I’ll just stick to a chocolate buzz.

  20. Helen says:

    Amy, drink your wine. You have earned it. Good luck at the vet.

  21. Helen says:

    We all need something, that’s for sure. For all my furious flower planting, I got a reward. I attracted a real honeybee.

  22. martin says:

    Good Night friends. May all of you and your fur kids sleep well and be safe. Me & mine are headed that direction.

  23. Amy says:

    And thank you for your support! (lol! Bartles & Jaymes anyone?)

    Truthfully, thanks for the well wishes… I’m keeping my fingers crossed and praying for better numbers than last week!

    If nothing else we at least have this site to turn to when we need to lean on others who understand what we’re going through and that’s pretty amazing.

  24. Genny says:

    LMAO @ Martin.

    Soooooo true. Now that would be some interesting stats for March, April and May.

  25. Genny says:


    You can have all the carpenter bees that are devouring my house. Come ‘n gettem.

  26. Helen says:

    Genny, you can always hope the carpenter bees will experience CCD like the poor honeybees.

  27. Genny says:


    I feel so bad trying to kill them but they are seriously destroying my home. They have been coming back every year for about 8 years and are very destructive. The only time I’ve ever killed a honey bee is when I’ve stepped on them. Big ouch!

  28. cheetah-dog says:

    Mandy: The Senate and the House are spending all of their time on the Iraq War and the Immigration Bill. I have been watching them for two days now. Hopefully they will get back to the tainted pet food scandal, but I wouldn’t hold my breath!!

  29. Diane says:

    I noticed Rice protein concentrate is not listed in the ingredients of Nutra Nuggets.
    This happened with other recalled pet foods too. None of the glutens or concentrates being listed on the labels.

    Lamb meal, brewers rice, cracked pearled barley, wheat flour, turkey by-product meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), brown rice, beet pulp, egg product, flaxseed, natural flavor, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

    I don’t buy this cross contamination excuse from the manufactures.
    What I am wondering about is the wheat flour. There has been reports of wheat flour being the problem…..

    From USA TODAY

    By Julie Schmit and Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
    The contaminated ingredients from China that led to the massive pet-food recall were both actually flour, mislabeled to look more valuable than they actually were, federal officials said Tuesday.
    The flour, thought to be wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, contained melamine to appear higher in protein, the Food and Drug Administration speculated.
    The mislabeling went undetected by pet-food makers who used the ingredients, the importers who imported them and the FDA for weeks.

    I am avoiding wheat flour as an ingredient too.

  30. Becky says:

    Interesting headline, “New Recall…”

    I guess it depends on how you define a recall. Haven’t seen anything on the FDA or even the Nutra Nuggets websites indicating there has been a recall. When writing about a product subject to FDA regulation, I would expect the term to be defined as it would be by the FDA. At this time there is no recall. Has Diamond ask Costco to remove the product from the shelf so they can pick it up and test it? If so, that is not a recall in the eyes of the FDA and the term is inappropriate to use if you are trying to pass it off as “news”.

    Also, Itchmo wrote:
    “He [Diamond vet] said that it was due to cross-contamination due to food being produced for Natural Balance (Natural Balance had recalls in mid-April). At this time, he said that no other food produced by Nutra Nuggets was being recalled. “

    I find it hard to believe someone at Diamond would say this at this point, and if you are reporting it accurately, the employee should be fired.
    In the KSEE story reported yesterday it said the sick dogs have been at the vet’s office since Friday, May 11. Since the vet needed to send samples to the UC Davis lab for analysis and then wait for the results, I would suspect the story was reported either the day the vet got the results, or at most a day later. So if the vet called Diamond yesterday to tell them his findings, how would it possible for Diamond to conduct an investigation thorough enough to draw such a conclusion within 24 hours?

    Maybe you think Diamond should just accept the independent vet’s findings? If you were responsible for a large company would you trust the methodology, analysis and conclusions of someone you don’t know but claims a product your company makes is harmful? If you answer yes I sure hope you don’t run any companies I have stock in.

    However, a good corporate steward would conduct and investigation into the claims. In this instance it would be logical to withdraw product from the same batch and conduct tests. You would also want to find out by reviewing internal records to determine the likelihood of cross-contamination (what if it turns out the Nutra Nugget wasn’t made anywhere near the time the Natural Balance was made?) This can’t be done in a day.

    Itchmo, you are crossing the line from giving your opinion about something (blogging) and an attempt at journalism when you post an article such as this. I’m not going to say your reporting is inaccurate, but it does appear suspect. Further, if your going to continue to present yourself as a news source you should be advised that you could be personally liable for claims you make.

    ITCHMO ADMIN: We confirmed this information twice with Nutra Nuggets. We’ve been in this territory before where we reported the recall prior to the company officially announcing the news. If the company’s veterinarian calls it a recall (and recommends that consumers return the product) we’ll report the news as a recall. We would not publish suspect material as the truth. We are well aware of liability and we stand by our reporting. FDA has no mandatory recall authority, therefore is not the official bearer of such news.

  31. furmom says:

    Does anyone seriously think that any Pet Food company would look good sueing someone for liable who was trying to inform pet owners about a reasonably strong case of something wrong with a batch of food? People are entitled to report pet illnesses and what food they were using, what vet care they used, tests that were made, results, and their own conclusions, guesses, fears. If anyone should be in legal trouble it should be whoever used creepy ingredients or didn’t exercise due diligence in researching what seems to be common knowledge in China. If ordinary citizens are going to be sued for exercising free speech you sue my @ss first.

  32. 6catmommy says:

    Just read an interesting article about gmo rice being given the ok to be produced in the US. This rice is not for eating. It produces human proteins that are somehow used to make diarrhea medicine.

  33. 6catmommy says:

    Their sales are down by 4%. That’s alot of moola.

  34. Becky says:

    furmom wrote:

    “People are entitled to report pet illnesses and what food they were using, what vet care they used, tests that were made, results, and their own conclusions, guesses, fears. ”

    You are absolutely correct, but that has nothing to do with my point. Itchmo went beyond that and called the company in question and reported on that conversation. That’s journalism and if Itchmo inaccurately reports the conversation, and the result of that is it affects the image of the company, that’s a legal issue.

  35. Becky says:

    Admin, thanks for making my point.

    You wrote:

    “FDA has no mandatory recall authority, …”

    See the FDA’s own website:

    It says: “Recalls may be conducted on a firm’s own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority.”

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Becky, the FDA’s definition is for themselves and is not something the companies abide by. No company has used the FDA’s recall classifications in announcing their recalls. We’ve even had companies tell us “we’re not recalling our food, just removing it from the market and asking the customer to return them.”

    The crux of the issue here is that you do not trust us to report accurately. We’re not sure why considering our track record and the fact that the Nutra Nuggets vet called it a recall — on two separate calls. We’re calling it a recall because the company is calling it a recall.

  36. e wem says:

    I want to reply to Suan above because it jogged my memory and I think it is important:

    Susan Says:

    “…May 22nd, 2007 at 11:04 am
    It’s hard to keep track of what’s made where? I guess we haven’t heard anything from Doane Foods (of the aflatoxin recall last year)?”

    I did a quick search on Doanes buys Menu and found important research on Pet Connection

    linda researched the 1998 aflatoxin recall by Doanes. I will try to suumarize her post:
    - 1998 Doanes makes 17 out of 20 brands of pet food that Menu today claims to make
    - Doane’s merged with Hill’s Products in 1998
    - 2000 Doanes annual report announces they signed letter of intent to purchase Menu foods
    - according to Nashville Business Journal Menu Doanes sets up a merger with Menu. Menu would assume responsibility for Doanes wet food facility
    - 5-3-2001 Nashville Bus Jrnl report Doanes sells its wet food facility to Menu. Equipment, intellectual property and inventory will be sold. Doanes will retain ownership of all real property and fixtures. Production will move to Menu in N.J. Doanes is called the largest global provider of private label pet food
    - so this seems to say that Menu obtained Doanes clients and makes the wet pet food for them
    - a few years later Doanes sells off some of its overseas facilities (?)
    - 2006 Mars buys Doanes Pet Products the parent company of Doanes. Mars already makes “PEDIGREE, CESAR, GOODLIFE, WHISKERS, SHEBA for cats and dogs. Plus the ROYAL CANINE brand from Europe which Mars bought in 2003″
    - Doanes is listed at as a subsidiary of Mars and asks does this imply that Menu is owned by Mars? Also suggest the possibility that the overseas suppliers of ingredients may have once been owned by, or affiliated with Doanes/Mars

    I am summarizing I hope decently the research done by Linda posted at Pet Connection( Linda — April 7, 2007 @ 10:19 am )

    There is something strange about the Mars connection. Mars has stayed on the sidelines but I don’t trust them either

    These guys are slicker than eels. The researcher wonders about the unnamed suppliers. I do too. Who fronted these Asian connections? What a great way to duck liability. Set up shell companies to make buddy arrangements with fly-by-night suppliers in China, a land where nothing is public record and the press is muzzled.

    They say beware the Ides of March.

    Be wary of the ID’s of Mars

  37. kellie says:

    becky please crawl back under the pet food companies rock who employs you.

  38. Karen V says:

    I’m with the earlier poster: Wheat Flour is in all the dry foods by Nutra Nugget. I highly doubt the Croos-Contamination (even without the cleaning they do) would be enough to kill the pets: Reprint -

    Nutra Nuggets (manufactured around the same time as the Natural Balance - hence the claim of Cross Contamination), contains Wheat Flour. The Contaminated RPC was actually Wheat Flour. Me thinks they got a bad batch the same way the NB got the Rice Protein Concentrate - the one they ordered on purpose for their Venison Dry Food (which is why the hold of all grain products from China).

    Since, at the time - they didn’t know about Wheat Flour, they wouldn’t know to test for Melamine (they have since updated and are now testing all batches - but I’m getting skeptical here.)

    As was said before, how much can possibly be left on the machine? Not enough (and they do have cleaning procedures). I think it was the Wheat Flour - and that is why noone is stepping up to the plate.

    Imagine the reaction - another contaminated grain to send the public running (I have no pet foods with my special grain list since this started). Loads of products use wheat flour and glutens.

    Just say no to these unnecesary grains (a brown rice, a millet or barley, some oatmeal - should be okay? Who knows).

  39. Becky says:

    I’m simply skeptical by nature. Having raised a teenager I am quite aware how easily a qualified statement may become an absolute in a re-telling.

    You stated the FDA has no mandatory recall capability, that isn’t true.

  40. kellie says:

    i wish you’d man up and say which PF company you work for. Nutra maybe?
    Either way you are the reason pets are dying. Questiong itchmo for fetting the word out FASTER than the company or FDA.

    GOOD FOR ITCHMO, who knows HOW MANY dogs may be saved by a day or 2 less of eating this food while the PF company and FDA take their sweet time.

    I wish i did know who you worked for just to be sure i NEVER bought a single product made by your employer or any parent compnay.

    Itchmo please keep up the good work and don’t let these type of posters deter you from letting us know about new dangers ASAP.


  41. kellie says:

    *getting the word out*

  42. Becky says:

    kellie, I don’t work for any pet food companies.

    But I will add if you don’t trust any of them don’t buy their products.

  43. kellie says:

    because raising a teenager and pet food recalls have so much in common right??

    ugh, at least have a better angle

  44. Itchmo » Blog Archive » Recall Update: Wednesday says:

    […] Nutra Nuggets recalls lamb and rice formula dry dog food. […]

  45. menusux says:

    “Becky Says:

    May 23rd, 2007 at 3:09 am
    I’m simply skeptical by nature. Having raised a teenager I am quite aware how easily a qualified statement may become an absolute in a re-telling.

    You stated the FDA has no mandatory recall capability, that isn’t true.”

    US Government Accountability Authority

    “Weaknesses in USDA’s and FDA’s food recall programs highten the risk that unsafe food will remain in the food supply and ultimately be consumed.

    “FDA has recall authority for unsafe biological products, medical devices, radiation emitting electronic products, and infant formula.”

    From a government-written page itself, these are the ONLY items FDA has the authority to recall–things like tainted blood for transfusions, medical equipment, x-ray devices and baby formula. Anything else, including drugs and food, must be recalled by the manufacturer of the product(s).

    FDA doesn’t have the authority to recall drugs–and one of the agency’s jobs is to approve all drugs–prescription and non-prescription–before they are able to be placed on the US market. Vioxx and Bextra, for example, were NOT removed from the market by the FDA–they were discontinued by the respective drug companies who produced them. The maximum FDA is able to do in a case would be to appeal to the manufacturer of the item to issue a recall and/or withdraw the product from the market.

    In the 1980’s when someone was putting cyanide into Tylenol capsules, FDA did not issue a recall because it had no authority to do so. The maker of the product, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, issued the recall of all capsules. And it was Johnson & Johnson/McNeil–not FDA, as it has no authority to do this either–who made the decision not to produce Tylenol in capsule form any more after the incident.

    As you see at the link above–the recall authority of FDA is VERY limited. Get your facts straight, Becky, before making issues like this which can be disproven by cited government references.

  46. Van says:

    I want to thank all who left information on Avocados. I will go back and re-read when I have more time. Sounds like it could do some long term damage. I will be looking for new dry food for the cats. Even has pictures of Avocados on the bag. Thanks again


  47. YaYa says:

    Becky, If I remember correctly, the only item the FDA can officially demand and force a Recall on is, Baby Formulas.

    It may have changed, but you can search the FDA site for yourself and let us know.

  48. YaYa says:

    If people don’t complain to Companies and manufacturers in the First place; many of the past recalled items would probably Never be ‘recalled’.

    The FDA is the LAST place to find a recall. Many times it’s *Days* after a Company recall, that it shows up on the FDA site as {”offically”} recalled.

    It’s starts with People, folks talking- comparing notes, doctors noticing Spikes {and some times you have to Point Out things to the doctor} etc,.
    Some take a shorter time as in a deadly ground beef/e-coli situation, or longer as in a bead coming off of a childs toy, causing a choking hazzard.

    So often it’s ‘the People’ that cause a Company to Look at a product FIRST.

    Its the people factor that’s the most important in my opinion. Comparing notes. We’ve got the Internet {and places like Itchmo, thank goodness} now.

    How, a company handles a/many complaint{s} {speed or lack of it, serious concern, Action}, speaks volumes.

    Many of us here believe quite a few more foods should be Recalled.

    Company Reputations and Future monies are More important.

    But if WE don’t talk about them, we’d not know what to Avoid!

    We are simply trying to Protect ourselves and loved ones.
    If we talk about a ‘bad’ product and it is Not- Recalled {by the company}, THAT is a company issue.

    Not *Us*.

  49. YaYa says:

    e wem, something I thought that was fishy too was the fact ChemNutra’s Steve Miller {I think was the one} admitted to, getting a FEE from companies he hooked up with Chinese suppliers. {wonder how much *That* was ;) }

    {have we ever found out Who These, companies are?}

    He also said his wife Sally Qing Miller ‘translated’ for him, with the folks In China.

    Wonder if something was: “Lost in Translation” :-P

  50. Sidney's Mom says:

    OK, it’s obvious that something need to be done…and done quickly…before there are another 100 thousand dead family pets that the FDA can’t manage to add to their current totals!!! Maybe it time that us “parents” need to contact the news media, state representatives, governors, state senators, the pet food companies, the FDA and even the president! Send letters, emails, signed petitions, and telephone calls. And continue to do this until someone in Washington and the pet food industry gets off their money cans and gets this mess corrected!!!!
    With their telephone lines flooded, their emails clogged, and letters too many to count, they will see that we are serious and will no longer stand by and watch our pets be poisoned and murdered! Then, and only then, will they begin to take action to save our pets. I, for one, have already started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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