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Petco Recalls Radiation-Tainted Pet Food Bowls

Posted: Aug. 15, 2012, 5:45 p.m. EDT

Petco has recalled three pet food bowls because an overseas manufacturer used stainless steel containing small quantities of radioactive cobalt-60.

The models include:

  • SKU 1047493: 9.25-inch diameter, 3.75-cup capacity.
  • SKU 1386956: 9-inch diameter, 3.5-cup capacity.
  • SKU 1047477: 9-inch diameter, 7-cup capacity.

The SKU numbers are found on labels on the inside and bottom of the bowls. Customers who purchased one of the recalled bowls from May 31 to June 20, 2012, are encouraged to return it to a Petco store for a refund.

Petco recalls pet food bowls
Petco's recalled pet food bowls (from top to bottom) SKU 1047493, SKU 1386956 and SKU 1047477.
Tests determined that the bowls do not pose a health risk to pets, pet owners, store employees or customers, the San Diego-based company stated.

“Cobalt-60 is a radioactive material commonly used in industrial gauging equipment and other uses,” Petco reported in a statement on its website. “We don’t know for certain how it got into our product, but we believe it came from scrap metal that had some cobalt-60 accidentally mixed in.”

The recalled bowls were inside two shipping containers that arrived in the United States in late May or early June 2012, the company stated.

The radiation was discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents during a routine inspection of one of the shipping containers. The container’s journey was halted, but bowls in the second container were forwarded to Petco, including a distribution center in Joliet, Ill.

Most of the bowls were isolated at the distribution center, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency reported.

Petco stated that it removed the bowls and all other products manufactured by the supplier from its stores and froze future shipments from the supplier. The company was not identified.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency downplayed the event by noting that the highest radiation levels emitted by the bowls would be equivalent to a chest X-ray but only after about six days of exposure.

“These bowls do not pose an immediate health risk, but we always want to prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation,” agency director Jonathan Monken said.

Potentially contaminated bowls were also received at the California, New Jersey and Georgia Petco distribution centers and potentially contaminated bowls were received at stores in Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio, according to Petco.

Anyone with questions may call Petco customer service at 877-738-6742.

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