Recalls are scary, so I will start by asking everyone to please check your food and make sure it is safe for you and your pet and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of salmonella.
But then I am going to admit this one does not have me that worried. Salmonella I can handle.
The recall that I cannot forget happened in 2007. More brands then I can remember were recalled because it was discovered that production plants in China were adding melamine to the wheat gluten. This was causing liver damage and death in a lot of animals. Ella was on a recalled food but I had thrown out all the packaging, so even though she was acting fine we went straight to the vet. Her liver was fine. I was one of the lucky ones, and I immediately started researching food and saving the UPCs of my food.
I will admit to spending a certain amount of time on the CraigsList discussion boards. I was a semi-regular in the ‘Pets’ section and turned there for information when all this went down. It was chaos: I learned some, I met a lot of trolls, I got lectured about the evils of corporate america, I was told if I did not feed raw I was a horrible person, and I realized the internet is a crazy place. But I had some options and I started figuring out what would work for me and my cat. We ended up on Blue Buffalo Wilderness. I selected it because Blue Buffalo was a small company and very dedicated to long-term health. Plus my cat loved it, still loves it actually. At the time I could not find a wet food she would eat that I approved of, so we went without for years. I recently did start feeding wet again, after coming off phenobarbitol Ella suddenly became more willing to eat things (and more willing to steal them off my plate). I go between Blue Buffalo, Wellness and Purina Pro-Plan. Ella requires gravy to be interested and I would rotate to give the cats a variety (and based on my budget).
If you change my food I will bite you . . .
When I added a dog (Owen) I stuck with Blue Buffalo. Many midnight potty breaks helped me realize that Owen cannot tolerate chicken so we had to have lamb. Blue Buffalo was actually one of the few lamb based foods that did not also include chicken fat or broth so I stuck with the brand. The cats were thriving, Owen was not. On the lamb he was doing better but he was not as regular as I would like. So after a bout of diarrhea last month and finding out that grains are inflamatories I went out and got a grain free food. The quest for affordable and chicken free brought me to Taste of the Wild. We did a slow transition but I immediately saw the effects – Owen was doing so much better intestinally and with his energy. I was excited. And then I found out about the recall.
Sigh. At first I thought I was back to square one, I had five minutes of feeling sorry for myself and blaming the company. Then I asked why was I upset? Owen was fine, I was fine, clearly our bag was not contaminated. If it is not broken, why fix it? Yes, the food was recalled. Yes, salmonella is not fun and can be dangerous. Yes, the plant needs to improve some practices. But was I leaving the brand because of me or because of Owen? Owen did well on the food, Owen liked the food, if it was up to Owen he would keep eating it. Of course Owen also likes to eat chicken wing bones that he finds on the street. Taste of the Wild is a good company overall and they are sending me a refund – is it worth jumping ship or should I stick around for that free bag of food?
Of course if allowed Owen will also eat yarn . . .
I did the research, found out salmonella risk to animals is small because the bacteria in their systems is made to kill off things like that, and that none of the food I was feeding had actually tested positive for salmonella. Animals who are young, or old, or have a compromised immune system are at more of a risk but Owen is none of those things, and Owen is thriving. I am probably more at risk then my pets. Can I forgive the mistake? I think I can.
Everyone has to make their own decision but I am sticking with Taste of the Wild for now. Of course now I have to figure out where to get a new bag!