WASHINGTON (AP) -- The recall of pet foods and treats contaminated with an industrial chemical expanded Thursday to include dog biscuits made by an Alabama company and sold by Wal-Mart under the Ol'Roy brand.
The Food and Drug Administration said the manufacturer, Sunshine Mills Inc., is recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten. Testing has revealed the wheat gluten, a protein source, was contaminated with melamine, used to make plastics and other industrial products.
Also Thursday, Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of brand- and private-label wet pet foods expanded its original recall to include a broader range of dates and varieties. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall the now more than 100 brands of pet foods and treats made with the contaminated ingredient.
The recall now covers "cuts and gravy"-style products made between Nov. 8 and March 6, Menu Foods said. Previously, it only applied to products made beginning Dec. 3. In addition, Menu Foods said it was expanding the recall to include more varieties, but no new brands.
The FDA knows of no other pet product companies planning recalls, agency officials told reporters.
"Other than that, I think, you know, the public should feel secure in purchasing pet foods that are not subject to the recall," Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, told reporters.
Sunshine, of Red Bay, Ala., sells pet foods and treats under its own brands as well as private labels sold by grocery, mass merchant and dollar stores, according to its Web site. The recall included some of the products made for sale under five private labels, including Ol'Roy biscuits, sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Stater
Bros. large biscuits, sold by Stater Bros. Markets. It also covered a portion of Sunshine's own Nurture, Lassie and Pet Life dog biscuit brands.
Previously, Menu Foods had recalled some wet-style dog foods it made for sale under the Stater Bros. and Ol'Roy brands as well.
Sunshine said there have been no reports of dog illnesses or deaths in connection with the recalled dog biscuits, which contain one percent or less wheat gluten by weight.
The FDA continues to focus on melamine as the suspected contaminant of the pet products, though Sundlof said it could be a marker for the presence of another, yet-unknown substance. Melamine previously was not believed to be toxic.
The recall is one of the largest pet food recalls in history, Sundlof said. The FDA has received more than 12,000 complaints but has confirmed only about 15 pet deaths. Anecdotal reports suggest the tally is in the hundreds or low thousands. Sunshine Mills said it would post a complete list of the recalled dog biscuits on its Web site, sunshinemills.com
The FDA last week blocked wheat gluten imports from the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. in the eastern city of Xuzhou, saying they contained melamine. A Las Vegas importer, ChemNutra Inc., recalled this week all wheat gluten it had purchased from the supplier and in turn distributed to pet food
Xuzhou Anying has said it is investigating the claims.
For a complete list of Menu Foods recalled food click here.
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