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Low Thiamine Levels Prompts Canned Cat Food Recall

Posted: March 1, 2011, 3:40 p.m., EDT

WellPet LLC is voluntarily recalling certain lots of Wellness canned cat food due to low thiamine levels.WellPet LLC is voluntarily recalling certain lots of Wellness canned cat food due to low thiamine levels.

The company discovered the low levels during independent testing conducted together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to a single, isolated consumer complaint received by the FDA.

The FDA sent out a media alert on the recall today.

In a letter dated yesterday to pet owners, Tim Callahan, CEO of WellPet, said the recall is in an abundance of caution.

“Please know, the vast majority of products tested had the appropriate levels of thiamine; however, with the number of recipes we offer, we did not want to make this more confusing,” Callahan said. “Therefore to avoid confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to recall all canned cat products with the specific date codes noted below… Though the chance of developing this deficiency is remote, withdrawing these products is the right thing to do and we are removing it from retailers’ shelves.”

The lots involved in the recall are:

• Wellness Canned Cat Food (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;
• Wellness Canned Cat Food Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 and 17NOV13 best by dates.

No other Wellness products are impacted, Callahan said.

“This is an isolated situation, as we have had only one reported issue,” he added. “We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again.”

Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency, according to the FDA. Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is essential for cats.

Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature, according to the FDA. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending toward the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling and seizures.

Cats that have consumed the recalled lots and exhibit these symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian, according to the FDA, adding that thiamine deficiency is typically reversible if treated promptly.

Consumers should stop feeding their cats the food from these lots. To arrange for a product return and reimbursement, call 877-227-9587, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST.

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Low Thiamine Levels Prompts Canned Cat Food Recall

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Reader Comments
I would like to have notification directly and not via someone else. I was not aware of this recall until I went to purchase more "chicken" for my 5 cats. Fortunately, my cats were not affected, and I have 5 cats. I have been feeding them Wellness for over 15 years. I wish this had been in a newspaper in my area, The Daily Courier, Prescott Valley, AZ. My cats were VERY HAPPY to get "their"food back after 4 days of trying another brand.
Miriam, Prescott Valley, AZ
Posted: 3/8/2011 3:03:55 PM
I have my suspicions with this recall based upon the contents of their press release. I want to know if the company will pay for my veterinary exams as I have been feeding my two cats this food since birth (ages 4,5).
babs, stow, MA
Posted: 3/6/2011 6:10:55 AM
Iams had the same recall several months ago. I'm curious as to where both companies buy their "vitamin packs", as I understand that most of the pet food manufacturers buy from overseas due to none being made in the USA.
Sandy, Lacey, WA
Posted: 3/3/2011 11:47:53 AM
Has it occurred to anyone else to supplement thiamine, and go ahead and USE the affected lots?

This recall seems wasteful, costly, and environmentally unsound, to me!
Roland, Kansas City, MO
Posted: 3/3/2011 6:49:19 AM
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