Wal-Mart Fails To Block Recalled Cat Food From Sale

Wal-Mart

A Montgomery, Alabama woman is saying that she recently bought recalled cat food from her local Wal-Mart.

Sheri McComber’s cats are weak and lethargic. And she says her four cats have gotten sick after eating Special Kitty cat food, one of the cat foods that was previously recalled during the massive pet food recalls earlier this year.

She bought the pouch cat food at the Ann Street Wal-Mart. When she tried to purchase it, McComber said there was a warning sign. One of the pouches wouldn’t scan and it said “item not to be sold.” Instead of putting the item to the side, she said the cashier just picked up another pouch and scanned it twice.

When all of her four cats became sick, she checked the labels on the cat food. She pulled back the sticker on the back and read the UPC code. The numbers on her cat food matched the ones on the recall list.

The cats’ veterinarian has done blood work on the four cats, and McComber is waiting for the results. For now, they don’t know for sure if the Special Kitty cat food made the cats sick.

When a news team checked to see if the Ann Street Wal-Mart had any of the recalled food on the shelves, they didn’t find any Special Kitty Pouches in the store.

Wal-Mart released this statement: “Pet food safety is a top priority at Wal-Mart, as we understand the important role that pets play in the lives of our customers. Since hearing from WSFA-TV , we began an investigation into the customer’s concern.”

McComber hopes her story will prevent other pets from becoming ill and she encourages pet owners to check their pet’s food. She wonders if there are other people that are taking their pets to the vet and are uncertain of what is wrong with them.

Wal-Mart’s electronic sales block system that they have been touting can be easily bypassed. We’ve had reports of readers claiming to find Bestros Chicken Jerky Strips still on Wal-Mart store shelves, especially on the West Coast.

Source: WSFA TV

34 Responses to “Wal-Mart Fails To Block Recalled Cat Food From Sale”

  1. kittymomm says:

    How many warnings did this woman ignore? She bought a recalled brand that would not scan. She even got a warning that the product was NOT TO BE SOLD. And she went ahead and bought it anyway?
    Wal-Mart’s ethics are deplorable but this woman’s intelligence is barely measurable. I am sorry for her cats.

  2. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Well I was going to comment on this too, but kittymomm already said everything I was going to. She could have easily prevented this from happening. When the warning came up it would have been simple enough to say 5 little words: I. DON’T. WANT. THAT. ONE!

  3. nora says:

    Another lazy petowner who still thinks that the foods are OK. And Wal-Mart is also to blame of course. The cashier is also to blame. Those poor cats. Victims of ignorant and uncaring and unfeeling people and the same greedy corporation who is responsible for thousands of pet deaths I am sure.

  4. Pukanuba says:

    With all the news about the pet food recalls for the past five months, I would think ANY pet food coming up “not to be sold” would be a huge red flag. Obviously this woman saw that with her very own eyes & still fed it to her cats? That just boggles my mind.

    Wallys should have all that stuff pulled by now but at least there was a warning at the register…….in this case, the pet owner doesn’t have a prayer in hell of blaming anyone for this disaster. I sure hope her kitties are ok.

    I’m sorry but this is one for the books & just blows me away.

  5. katiekat says:

    We are fortunate enough to have found Itchmo. You have no idea how many people are not aware of continued recalls or that the problem exists anymore. very sad….

  6. Carol says:

    I’m not surprised if this is indeed true as my local Walmart in RI ignored my phone call to the manager on March 17th at 7:45 am notifying them of my 2 cats with unexplained acute renal failure and their eating the food at this store that was recalled. I even provided the name of the vet hospital where the 2nd cat was still hospitalized for their confirmation. The food was still on the shelf 3 days later! I wonder how many more cats ate it as many people did not have computer access for the brands recalled.

  7. Jenny Bark says:

    I agree with all of you, but we don’t know anything about this women. She may not have a computer or know how to use it. We don’t know how old she is or how smart. We don’t even know if she drives or had to hurry up for her ride home. We do know she loves her baby or she wouldn’t have taken it to the vet. The media has not helped the people after all only 16 pets have died & it was only 1% of the food. All the food is safe because the FDA is on the case. The new recall on the chicken strips the media is only saying some people have reported their pets have gotten sick. Look at the pfi ads for good healthy food that we all hate so bad. Itchmo people are smart & some are so smart they find out everything for us. Most people still don’t know about Itchmo and believe they can’t trust anything on the web. Wal-Mart & all stores should have had all this pulled, they are as always just about the $$$, imo.

  8. CGP says:

    There were several red flags which were totally ignored by this woman. Perhaps she should have checked the recall list before buying anymore Special Kitty. Can’t believe that there isn’t a better source of cat food that this woman could get except the stuff WalMart/China sells.

    Indeed this junk should be off the shelves, but everyone involved in this incident has some responsibility.

  9. straybaby says:

    how many of you have been grocery shopping and all your items wouldn’t scan? if the cashier saw that message, she should have put the item aside.

    5 months later, recalled food shouldn’t even be in the system. why is it showing up on shelves now i wonder? was it still sitting in the back room and a stock person put it out by accident? or is menu shipping it?

  10. Jenny Bark says:

    Straybaby i’m thinking the same thing.

  11. E. Hamilton says:

    I maintain that there must be a LOT of poisoned food floating around, considering the lack of concern on the part of the pet food companies for the pets, it would not surprise me to find that a lot of the really bad stuff was taken back and REMADE into new pouches or cans. Just toss some more cancerous roadkill and whatever cheap scrap chemicals are laying around into the grinder and make sure it won’t kill the pet before the container is finished and in the trash and POOF- new label, no disposal costs and who cares if a few thousand more pets die or suffer- NOBODY IS COUNTING!

    I think Walmart needs a REALLY big smack upside the head, do you think 100 million in lost revenue would get their attention, or should we think BIGGER?
    Any retailer found to still have recalled product on the shelf AND the pet food company that made it should be charged with animal abuse and fraud.
    It IS against the law to sell poison.

  12. Jenny Bark says:

    Bigger. We have no idea of the long term effects on our babies, us, the old, the sick, our children & with the FDA protecting us by the time we find out it will be too late, imo. Have to go, putting up my veggies for winter.

  13. Kevin says:

    Walmart is not a store I would consider having integrity. They will sell you anything regardless of the quality. I never buy their meats or any other perishables from there. I flat out don’t trust Walmart and avoid them like the plague.

    I always read the display after the item has been scanned. Walmart has a problem keeping their prices straight and their help is the bottom of societies barrel.

    I hope Sheri’s cats are fine but Sheri needs to realize that in this country you have the right to question authority if you feel something is wrong. Even a cashier at Walmart.

  14. E. Hamilton says:

    OK, the woman who bought the food needs to be cut some freaking slack here!
    Blaming the victims is a pet food industry type move and it stinks.

    This POISON should not STILL be on the shelf and we have all of us been frustrated by the lack of media coverage-there are vastly more millions of pet parents out there who are NOT here and have NO IDEA of the truth than are here.

    This woman has sick and suffering pets because she got poison instead of decent pet food and is that not what brought us all here , all those long months ago?

  15. SMITH111 says:

    Just one blunder after another. IT IS WALMART’S RESPONSIBILITY to triple check TO INSURE THAT ALL THE RECALLED PET FOODS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR SHELVES. PERIOD!
    THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS INCIDENT.
    IT IS ALSO WALMART’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT ALL EMPLOYEES UNDERSTAND THE CONSIQUINCES OF SELLING RECALLED PET FOODS OR ANY OTHER RECALLED PRODUCT. SHAME ON THEM!
    WALMART NEEDS TO BE SEVERLY FINED!!!

  16. Elaine says:

    I called a friend the other day to warn her about the Walmart chicken strips because I knew she was feeding her pets treats from Walmart. Her reply was ” It was beef strips I was feeding, not chicken!”

    I had told her a week before that I had started feeding Kumpi food, ordered by mail and sent to my home, because I didn’t trust any of the companies involved in the recall. She said she feeds Ol’Roy from Walmart, and she had never had a problem!

    I’m sure she thinks I’M STUPID for ordering food by mail when you can get it cheaper at Walmart! I have tried to get it through to her that it ain’t over, and pet food is STILL BAD, but she doesn’t want to hear it!

  17. Takami826 says:

    What a doof. At some point, no matter your access to information, if you haven’t figured out it’s up to you and you alone to take total 100% responsibility for EVERYthing you shove in your face and everything you present to your pets, kids, whatever then tough cookies whatever happens to you. Too bad that cat (those cats?) rely on such a dumbbell to survive.

    Anything with a sticker in my mind is suspect -what are they hiding? Meh, I don’t care, I’m not buying it. It’s bad enough standard ingredient lists are suspect, but when it’s stickered over… I put it right back on the shelf. And if it won’t ring up and it’s something ingestible, I refuse it. There’s a reason it won’t ring up. And a pox on the cashier who OVERRODE THE DO NOT SELL warning. Not that this surprises me being Sprawl Mart.

    The pet owner bears a HUGE responsibility in this one, probably moreso than Sprawl Mart.

  18. Kevin says:

    Elaine,

    She will listen when her animals are at the vet due to tainted pet food. I hope that is not the case.

    Some people feel that ignorance is bliss.

  19. Anonymous says:

    ditto straybaby: HERE’S THE FOCUS: 5 months later, recalled food shouldn’t even be in the system. why is it showing up on shelves now i wonder? was it still sitting in the back room and a stock person put it out by accident?

    or is menu shipping it?

    WMT is only in business because too many people still live in fantasy land believing that the monster carpetbagging multiglobal profiteers care about the quality of products - care about living beings - and care about our country.

    amoral buck-sucking scions imo.

  20. Katie says:

    Ditto, from me too. There should not be any recalled pet food on shelves of any store. None. But, than this is Wal-Mart.

    As far as the owner goes - if she saw: Not to be sold, why didn’t she question it? why didn’t the clerk question it??? but than we have our fearless FDA, gov’t agencies, vets, news media who have crawled into a hole - recalled deadly pet food is no longer the story of the day. Most people think everything is once again safe.

    I sure hope the kitties are okay and will not pay the price for Wal-Mart’s lust for greed.

    Katie

  21. KimS says:

    Wow, why didn’t that woman, who had like a million RED FLAGS telling her that something was up, at least try to look it up online BEFORE she fed it to her cats. I’m so sorry for her cats and WalMart doesn’t exactly hire Albert Einsteins, but would it have killed her to check online or call someone somewhere to check on that food??

  22. E. Hamilton says:

    The woman MIGHT not know, the media and the pet food companies are working hard every day to keep this hushed up! For all we know she still has faith in the FDA!!??

    Blaming the VICTIM is a pet food industry type thing to do and I really don’t think it is appropriate.

    Seen a lot of news on TV about the fact that there is STILL poison pet food on store shelves?
    Me neither.

  23. Kira says:

    I work for a retailer (NOT Wallyworld) who sells petfood and many other retail products. We have a system in place that will not sell recalled items when scanned by the cashier. The staff is trained not to override the recall by ANY means i.e. scanning a different item twice. When something turns up recalled at the register, the cashier calls the manager to notify them AT ONCE that they have a recalled product. The manager then ensures all of the recalled product is removed from the shelf. Wallyworld does not amply train their staff or pay them decent wages. Months and months after the recall, all of these products should have been destroyed or sent back to the manufacturer. I am surprised and disappointed by Wallyworld that they do not take recalls as seriously as they should be in this industry. The customer comes first, as I have been trained.

  24. loulou says:

    Like the lady (I too) bought special kitty select from walmart. I had known about the recall, but I (stupidly) thought that since at one time the re-called cat food had been pulled(so I thought) that when they started putting more special kitty food out on the shelf, that this particular batch would not have been contaminated and thought that the manufactured would have checked to make sure of it before re-stocking or selling of it products. I purchased 14 pouches. Out of these 14; 9 of them had been “Re-labled”. The re-lable is a white sticker on the back of the pouch that looks and feels much like a real UPC bar code. If you were not looking for it you would never know it was there. The bar codes on the other 5 pouches are not listed on the re-call list. I believe that walmart rather than destroying the re-called items or sending them back to the manufacture, simply put them in the back storage. I would really like to know who’s idea and authority gave walmart the right to do such a thing? My cat does not show any signs of sickness, as I only feed him 1 pouch a day. I await your comments good, bad or indifferent.

  25. KimS says:

    I’m sorry I was so critical of that lady. I take it back 1000%.

    I’m just a huge believer in being proactive (so I don’t become victimized) and I don’t trust big money grubbing corporations.

    WalMart and their underpaid employees are really who is at fault.

    The lady’s only crime was that she was trusting. And that is not a crime.
    I hope people use this as a cautionary tale.

  26. More Recalled Menu Foods Pet Food Found In Wal-Mart | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] or subscribe in a RSS reader.Yesterday we posted about Sheri McComber, an Alabama cat owner, who bought recalled Special Kitty cat food from a Wal-Mart store. She claims that four of her cats are sick from eating the recalled cat […]

  27. The Groom Room says:

    Yesterday I got a rescued dog, owner surrender into my shop. 13 yr old Bichon Frise named Bogey Guess what…Bogey came with some dog food, pouched Ol’Roy…I looked it up..the upc number is different and so is the date…so it’s NOT on the recall list, but then I felt the label, and it was a STICKER…so I peeled it off and guess what…the recalled upc is under the sticker…hmm….
    I called menu foods, they said they had a similar complaint yesterday…and do not feed the food…
    I called the FDA they are going to be looking into this
    I called walmart corporate office, they will also be looking into this. All have my contact info.
    Until this happened to me I didn’t know about yesterdays recall….of course I wouldn’t feed this crap food to any animal ….but it frosts me to see this. Menu claims Walmart did this…who knows.
    It is a different date so could be safe….and maybe they were too cheap to change the packaging, cheap fix is put a new sticker on it…but like the other person…I’m suspect when I find stickers…

    And they wonder why consumer confidence is down??????

  28. Jane Anderson says:

    Well you sure got further with the FDA than I did. I called them to ask if it is legal to paste a new upc sticker over the one that is printed on the package. Then I told her about the Special Kitty having these, and the ladys 4 cats getting sick. She said the upc is just for the WalMart registers. Then I asked wasn’t the upc printed on the label tied to when the package was filled with the cat food? I was told no.

    Then I told her once again about this ladys 4 cats all getting sick after eating the “now ok” WalMart Special Kitty cat food. And shouldn’t the FDA investigate this? (I couldn’t remember the TV station that did the investigating)

    She then said “we don’t have time to investigate rumors.” So I said I am going to tell Itchmo about what you said, may I quote you? She said she has never even heard about Itchmo. I told her it is a web site that has saved a lot of lives of our pets by reporting poisoned pet food when the FDA didn’t even list them. Total silence.

    So I said again, may I quote you? Then she hurriedly said “that’s not what I said.” “I said we don’t have the personnel to investigate rumors.”

    Well. Our country certainly is in safe hands.

  29. The Writing On The Wal » Blog Archive » Déjà vu all over again. says:

    […] From Itchmo: News for Dogs and Cats: A Montgomery, Alabama woman is saying that she recently bought recalled cat food from her local Wal-Mart. […]

  30. Katherine says:

    Emily, I’m working on a story about the Menu Foods/Walmart recall. Would you mind getting in touch with me? I have a few questions about your post, and about Ms. McComber’s poor cats. Thanks so much– hope to hear from you soon.

  31. STACE says:

    ALRIGHT, I KNOW THIS WOMAN AND YES SHE IS VERY INTELLIGENT. SHE TOLD ME OVER THE PHONE ABOUT IT AND I JUST STUMBLED ONTO THIS SITE, THIS LADY LOVES ALL OF HER ANIMALS AND WE SHOULD EXPECT THAT WAL MART WOULD DO THE RIGHT THING AND PULL THE TAINTED FOODS WHEN MENU FOODS SENT OUT THEIR NOTICES. BOTTOM LINE IS STOP DOGGING ON PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW AND GO AFTER THE NATION WIDE RETAILER WHO ISNT DOING THEIR JOBS BY PROTECTING US AND OUR ANIMALS. YES THE RECALL HAS BEEN OUT, BUT I WOULD EXPECT THAT THE WORKERS AT WAL MART WOULD AT LEAST QUESTION MANAGMENT ABOUT THE STOCK THAT WANSNT PULLED, OR MANAGMENT WOULD MAKE SURE THAT THOSE RECALLED PET FOOD PRODUCTS WERE PULLED AND SENT BACK TO THE DISTRIBUTORS. THOSE ON HERE CRITICIZING SHERI CAN GO TO HELL, SHE JUST LOST A JOB SHE HAD FOR YRS AND DOESNT HAVE THE MONEY TO TAKE ALL OF HER CATS TO THE VET. 2 OF THEM SHE’S HAD SINCE 1998. I AM HERE TO STAND UP FOR MY FRIEND AND IF IT WERE YOUR FRIEND BEING CRITICEZED ON A BOARD YOU WOULD STAND UP FOR HER TOO. HER CATS ARE DOING FINE FOR THOSE WHO EXPRESSED CONCERN AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO HEART, GO SCREW YOURSELVES.

  32. Sheri Macomber says:

    Thanks Stace for taking up for me…and for all of those who questioned why I ignored the red flags…I didn’t ignore the red flags…I trusted Wal-mart had pulled the tainted food…you only know a portion of my story, so here is the rest…

    I have 2 cats who are 8, 1 who is 2, named Boh, that had 4 kittens in February. I lost my job in March and then my child let Boh out again and unfortunately you can’t fix a nursing cat, so she became pregnant yet again. Those 7 kittens were born at the end of June.

    All of this time, I had been feeding my cats Meow Mix dry and Whiskas wet. When the recall came out, I checked for Whiskas, never saw it on the list, so I never checked the list again.

    I was also fostering another Mother cat and her 4 kittens, so at this point I thought I would save a few pennies by purchasing Special Kitty. This was mid-July. When I took the first batch of kittens to be altered, two were running a high fever, this was the first of August. But the Clinician said they both had a few baby teeth that needed to be pulled that looked infected, so they pulled the teeth and checked all but one kitten in for surgery. At this point, I was still feeding them Special Kitty.

    When I went to purchase Special Kitty and one would not scan, I QUESTIONED THE CASHIER AND SHE SAID THEY HAD BEEN HAVING COMPUTER PROBLEMS WITH THEIR SCANNER AND I BELIEVED HER, so I purchased the Special Kitty. But I guess nobody on this site has experienced computer problems.

    It was only a day later when I took two kittens to the vet for high fever and they were put on an antibiotic. The only kittens that fell ill were the kittens born in February, none of my other cats or kittens were sick or ever got sick. I ASKED MY VET IF HE THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH TAINTED PET FOOD AND HE SAID AND I QUOTE “SURELY WALMART WOULD NOT TAKE THE RISK OF PUTTING TAINTED FOOD BACK ON THE SHELF”, so I thought I should check out the food myself.

    When I pulled by the sticker that was cleverly placed over the upc code to disguise the tainted upc code, I really was in shock and disbelief. I called Walmart immediately, Menu Foods and my vet. Walmart said they would call me right back, which they didn’t, Menu Foods was under a “Gag Order” and my vet said bring the cats in for blood work.

    In the meantime, I called WSFA. I thought I was doing the right thing by notifying the media, apparently I was just displaying my stupidity according to some of the quotes left on this site. Who knew I would be crucified for trusting Walmart and my vet.

    The blood work came back negative, I have gone back to Whiskas and will never stray again, and all 14 cats are doing wonderful. Thank you to those that may understand how I could “ignore” the red flags, and thank you again Stace..I love you…

  33. Katherine says:

    Sheri, I’m interested in your story– is it correct that none of your cats passed away as a result of eating the recalled Menu food? Please shoot me an email if you have time, I’d like to talk to you some more. Thanks!

  34. Sheri Macomber says:

    Katherine,

    I’m not sure how to locate your email address, so here is mine: smacomber@knology.net. And to answer your question, no, none of my cats passed away and all are healthy and lively to date. Thanks for caring… :o)


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