Recall Update: Thursday

Your Responses On Pet Food Recall Reimbursements:(Continued from Wednesday) Read more reimbursement reports.

I had to have my cat tested twice because of recalled food. First because he was eating the Nutro Max Cat pouches. Second time was for the Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea Dry cat food.

I sent them an email just asking whether they were willing to reimburse customers for blood tests incurred due to recalled food. I never actually expected a response but a few weeks later got a phone call. Essentially, what he told me was that if your pet got sick or died from the recalled pet food, their insurance company would pay your vet bills. But they would not pay for testing if your pet ate recalled food but the tests proved that your pet was fine. I mentioned that I still have some of the empty containers so I can prove that the blood tests were necessary, but the guy said their insurance company still won’t pay it if my pet didn’t get sick and/or die.

Also, haven’t contacted Natural Balance specifically about reimbursement although they did respond very promptly to my questions immediately following their recall - which I found out about on Itchmo a few hours before Natural Balance even had it on their website! They did take the initiative to send me coupons for their canned food (which my cat started eating after the Max Cat pouches was recalled) and even surprised me with a free case of his favorite.

The full, unedited email is after the jump.

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Hi. Since you’re collecting info on how pet food companies are/are not reimbursing for vet bills, I thought I’d pass on my experience. I had to have my cat tested TWICE because of recalled food. First because he was eating the Nutro Max Cat pouches. Second time was for the Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea Dry cat food (which I think actually turned out to be a bag that was made before they changed their formula to include rice protein). Thankfully, my cat’s blood tests showed that his kidneys were functioning perfectly both times!!!!

I’ve only had time to investigated reimbursement from one of the companies so far….. Nutro Products:

I sent them an email just asking whether they were willing to reimburse customers for blood tests incurred due to recalled food. I never actually expected a response but a few weeks later got a phone call. Essentially, what he told me was that if your pet got sick or died from the recalled pet food, their insurance company would pay your vet bills…BUT, they would NOT pay for testing if your pet ate recalled food but the tests proved that your pet was fine. I mentioned that I still have some of the empty containers so I can prove that the blood tests were necessary, but the guy said their insurance company still won’t pay it if my pet didn’t get sick and/or die.

Would have been a nice gesture if they had been willing to reimburse everyone affected. I haven’t tried going through Menu Foods to get reimbursed yet.

Also, haven’t contacted Natural Balance specifically about reimbursement although they did respond very promptly to my questions immediately following their recall - which I found out about on Itchmo a few hours before Natural Balance even had it on their website! :) They did take the initiative to send me coupons for their canned food (which my cat started eating after the Max Cat pouches was recalled) and even surprised me with a free case of his favorite. Won’t catch Nutro doing that!

6 Responses to “Recall Update: Thursday”

  1. Maureen says:

    I just read this press release from NSF when I was doing my now routine early sweep of articles on Google News regarding pet food safety. Note that NSF is an international company, and this caught my attention because it is a “World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.”

    This sounds like a testing agency which could test and certify food products internationally. I don’t know their capacity, but this sounds like a very good idea. Many people who posted on this site and others said they wanted an independent testing association. This would be paid for by manufacturers and wouldn’t replace regulatory agencies in this country, which we all agree should be strengthened. But having an independent agency test and certify that at least those toxins that they test for aren’t present sounds like something I as a consumer would look for when buying food and other commodities.

    http://home.businesswire.com/p.....ewsLang=en

    NSF Now Offers Expanded Melamine Testing Services in China

    Testing Ensures Confidence that Products are Melamine-free

    ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NSF International today announced a new testing service for suppliers in the food industry to detect the presence of melamine, an industrial chemical used in plastics that was recently found in pet food products.

    Melamine is frequently used in product materials and synthetic fibers, clothing, inks and plastic food containers. The chemical was added to wheat gluten and rice protein exported from China to increase protein levels in animal feeds. China has since banned its exporters from using the chemical as an additive in feeds.

    NSF, an independent testing laboratory, is expanding its melamine testing capabilities following the widespread pet food contamination and the ensuing product recall. The resulting melamine contamination has generated an increased demand by pet food manufacturers who are seeking accredited laboratories that test for melamine presence.

    To meet international commerce needs in China, NSF has an accredited testing laboratory in Shanghai that will conduct the testing and local auditors that will inspect the facilities to screen for melamine and other toxins. This process will ensure that products and raw materials exported overseas can be evaluated prior to being exported.

    (…)

    About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org).
    (…)

  2. Maureen says:

    P.S. to NSF testing press release posted at 10:11 a.m. above.

    “This would be paid for by manufacturers and wouldn’t replace regulatory agencies in this country, which we all agree should be strengthened.”

    As I reread what I wrote here — that “this would be paid for by manufacturers” — I see a red light going off in readers’ minds. What I mean is that manufacturers would request and pay for testing of a product, which would then be labeled as having passed certain testing by NSF. The manufacturers do not “own” NSF nor have any control over testing and its results. The alternative would be that manufacturers choose not to submit to this testing at all — and that would speak volumes to me as a consumer.

  3. Lorie says:

    Geez, I was just looking through this months People magazine and there is a coupn for ALPO Chop House Filet Mignon Flavor, made with Angus beef. Yah Right.

    They are feeling the heat.

  4. Elaine says:

    Angus eyeballs and A–holes are added. That is what that means!

  5. chris says:

    Drugs Do not give a pet medicine prescribed for a human unless explicitly advised by a veterinarian. Some common pain relievers can prove fatal for pets.

    Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Paracetamol: These over-thecounter painkillers are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. As little as one tablet of ibuprofen can cause gastric ulceration, liver damage, kidney failure and death. It is the most common cause of poisoning in pets. Paracetamol produces toxic byproducts as it is used by the body. Pets cannot break these toxins down and so they quickly become poisoned by them. Acetaminophen is also very toxic in relatively small doses.

    http://www.cherokeesentinel.co.....e/060.html

  6. Muriel says:

    “BUT, they would NOT pay for testing if your pet ate recalled food but the tests proved that your pet was fine.”

    YOU WOULD NOT NEED TO CONDUCT THE TESTING OF YOUR PET IF YOUR PET DID NOT EAT THE RECALLED FOOD. We all do not just arbitrarily take our pets in for testing. First of all, they don’t like it. Second, it costs money. Third, they really don’t like it…. Isn’t it bad enough that we are forced to pay big money for bad food ?…

    If I went to my doctor with shortness of breath and she sent me for a lung scan to determine if I had a problem and I ended up not having a problem — does that give the insurance company the okay not to pay the bill for the lung scan? This is just another example of insurance company’s control and we can not allow them to continue to win.


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