Some of you may remember the Diamond Pet Foods recall that happened in December of 2005. That recall made the news headlines because more than two dozen dogs and cats had died when the recall was announced. From what we can gather from that incident, the aflatoxin contamination was first reported by a vet on December 16, 2005, the toxin was confirmed on December 20th, and a safety warning was announced the same day, followed by a recall on the 21st. The last tally we could get was at least 100 dog deaths and 1 cat death. The part that made us remember this recall was the family-owned company making an impassioned plea to “do right” by their customers.
â€œItâ€™s going to take some time to take care of all these customers, and weâ€™re going to do it,â€ said the companyâ€™s chief operating officer, Mark Brinkmann.
Diamond has promised to reimburse pet owners for vet bills and other costs associated with the aflatoxin poisoning, which officials now believe may include pets in Europe and other areas outside the country where the food is distributed.
By all accounts, Diamond Pet Foods is a well-respected company with a reputation for quality. They seemed to have done a better job of informing their customers and pledged to better in the future. Here’s an excellent recap of the incident from Slate. However, trying to do right and getting it done right seems to be tremendously difficult as the MSNBC article shows. And most importantly, it doesn’t begin to erase the suffering experienced by both the pet and the parent.
So far, Menu Foods seems to lack the compassion exhibited by Diamond Pet Foods. We feel that Diamond treated our pets like they were our family members (which, of course, they are), but Menu Foods seems to be taking the cover your behind tact — and failing at it. We hope that Menu Foods will improve their communications and be more responsive, open, and honest with us, but only time will tell.
As of Monday morning, The New York Times is reporting that Menu Foods is offering compensation, although the Menu Foods site does not say anything about compensation or the compensation documentation process.
Ms. Tuite added that Menu Foods would compensate owners of pets that died, although she declined to say what the compensation would be. Pet owners who want to make a claim must mail documentation of their use of the affected products to the address on the companyâ€™s Web site, she said.