Written by John Albrecht
The shipment and warehousing of pet foods is something most pet food buyers never take into consideration. Most people are only concerned with a pretty bag and a bargain price. But buyer beware! What you don't know can hurt you.
Petco recently found it's Joliet warehouse being raided by the Feds as a result of "unsanitary conditions" as described in a warrant issued by the United States District Court in Chicago. U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated animal food susceptible to rodent and pest contamination. The seized products violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because it was alleged in a case filed by the United States Attorney that they were being held under unsanitary conditions. (The Act uses the term "insanitary" to describe such conditions.
The distribution center in Joliet, Ill., provides pet food products and supplies to PETCO retail stores in 16 states including Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
You can view the official release from the FDA here http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01854.html
We must also be aware of the other potential problems associated with the archaic mass distribution process of pet foods.
- Powerful chemical preservatives used to create a two year shelf life
- Non climate controlled storage containers (semi trucks) used for extended periods of time
- Mass production of product to ensure availability
Remember, there is more to choosing a quality pet food than what you may read on a "pretty" label.