If it seems like every time you turn around, there’s another pet food recall — well, you’re not too far off the mark.
I researched some of the most popular foods and was shocked to see just how many of them have faced a recall over the years.
Out of the top 10 best-selling pet food brands on Amazon.com last year (listed below in order of popularity), only 2 of them have never been recalled:
1. Taste of the Wild
In spring 2012, Taste of the Wild recalled thousands of units of dog and cat food because of positive tests for salmonella.
2. Fancy Feast
Believe it or not, Fancy Feast has never been recalled, according to our research.
In summer 2013, Purina voluntarily recalled a batch of Purina ONE dog food for suspected salmonella contamination. A year earlier, a single lot of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Feline Formula was recalled because of levels of thiamine that were deemed to be too low. Also, twice in 2011, certain Purina dry cat foods were recalled for suspected salmonella contamination.
Purina pet foods have been around a very long time, so there certainly have been earlier recalls. For example, our research turned up a 1978 recall of Purina Cat Chow because of possible contamination with PCBs — a nasty cancer-causing chemical. We also found a 1983 recall of 150 cans of cat food that Ralston Purina Co. had mistakenly labeled “Chicken of the Sea,” which consumers (and probably grocery store employees) naturally mistook for cans of tuna for people.
In 2013, a recall of Diamond cat food was initiated because of potentially too-low levels of thiamine. In 2012, a large recall involving Diamond and several pet food companies that Diamond Pet Foods manufactured for was initiated after people who worked at the plant were found to have been contaminated with salmonella. Diamond’s own pet food brands randomly selected tested positive for the bacteria, prompting other pet food companies that co-manufacture at the South Carolina plant to initiate voluntary recalls of their own.
Earlier, in 2005, aflatoxin was discovered in a plant in South Carolina that manufactures dog food products. It was recalled, but not before being shipped out to 29 countries.
Wellness issued 2 recalls in 2012: one for possible moisture contamination and another because of the possibility of salmonella.
Also, in February 2011, inadequate levels of thiamine was listed as the reason for a recall of a very large amount (21.6 million cans, according to an FDA enforcement report) of all flavors and sizes of canned Wellness cat food manufactured within a certain date range. Wellness CORE was included in the recall. Tim Callahan, CEO of WellPet, said at the time, “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”
In 2011, a Friskies product was recalled voluntarily by the company because of possible salmonella contamination.
7. Blue Buffalo
In fall 2015, Blue Buffalo recalled a single lot of some chew bones. The cause was listed as potential salmonella contamination. Less than 3 weeks earlier, a limited number of Blue Kitty Yums cat treats were pulled from shelves following reports of propylene glycol, which is unacceptable in cat treats under FDA guidelines.
In 2007, the FDA confirmed the presence of melamine in rice protein concentrate in food manufactured by American Nutrition, Inc. for Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo denied knowledge or consent of the additive being in the product. As a result of the recall, the company pulled all of its manufacturing from American Nutrition, Inc., even including products not listed in the recall.
In 2010, Blue Buffalo voluntarily recalled a few products because of a “sequencing error” made by an ingredient supplier. The supplier had conducted a previous processing of Vitamin D in which some carryover may have contaminated the Blue Buffalo products.
Canidae dog food products were included in a voluntary recall initiated in spring 2012 by Diamond Pet Foods for suspected salmonella contamination. We have not turned up any recalls of cat food produced by Canidae.
9. Hill’s Science Diet
In November 2015, the company quietly initiated a market withdrawal (not a recall) of certain Science Diet canned dog foods because of labeling issues. Hill’s maintained that the food itself was fine.
Previously, in June 2014, Hill’s Science Diet voluntarily recalled 62 bags of Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food in California, Hawaii and Nevada because of potential salmonella contamination.
In 2007, Hill’s was included in a recall of more than 40 brands of pet food that the FDA determined might contain melamine. All Science Diet Savory Cuts canned cat foods were pulled.
10. Meow Mix
Meow Mix has never been recalled, according to our research.