Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dog Food Recall AKA Really Frickin' Angry Gourmet

Hey, this is a food blog, regardless of the species.

But seriously - this is gonna be a frickin' angry blog tonight and you can probably tell from the title why that is.

So I receive an e-mail this morning from someone at one of the local shelters regarding Blue Buffalo dog food and how a number of dogs in her circle have become ill and they all had two things in common: they all ate Blue Buffalo dog food and the second I'll mention in a second.

Steak 1: Absolutely gorgeous

That was to hold your attention.  Anyway, this person did some research and found that Blue Buffalo did a voluntary recall of their October...because there was too much Vitamin D in it.  What I'm ticked off about is why in the name of Newt Gingrich didn't I know about this?!?!?  Why wasn't this all over the news?!?!?!  I guess it's because the media would rather tell me how supposedly dangerous pit bulls are rather than tainted dog food on the market.

Anyway, I typed in "Blue Buffalo recall" into the Google and found the announcement on their website and became even more ticked off, cause obviously whoever wrote this is a butthead.  Here are some excerpts with my moderately witty commentary:

Actually wait, here's another steak for you:

Steak 2

Ok, so, here are some fine excerpts from their press release:
At Blue Buffalo, nothing is more important than the health and well being of our dogs and cats, so it’s consistent with this guiding principle that we are voluntarily recalling specific production runs of our Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products, as we have reason to believe that the products from these runs may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for in our product specifications.
Okay - that's cool.  I appreciate voluntary.  Let's continue:
We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question. We believe that some of the Vitamin D supplement may have been carried over into our products, resulting in more Vitamin D than is called for in our formulas.
This is where I start to get frickin' angry - the phrase "our ingredient supplier" which says to me that Blue Buffalo is defusing responsibility onto someone else.  "It's not OUR fault, it's THEIR fault."  Am I overreacting?  Maybe.  I realize errors happen but this one seems kind of sloppy.  Whose their ingredient supplier that's making these errors anyway?  While it wasn't YOU who did it what does this say about YOU as a company because YOU choose to have them as your supplier.  Just sayin'.  
While the potential of increased Vitamin D presents no serious health risk, and any negative reaction to these products has been confined to a very small segment of the canine population who appear to be sensitive to higher levels of Vitamin D...
... If your dog has shown any adverse reaction to the recalled products, have him checked by your veterinarian. Typical symptoms might include excessive water intake and/or excessive urination, and in some cases vomiting. 
So there's no serious health risks...except that very small segment...because excessive water intake/urination has nothing to do with the kidneys/bladder.  

Look, Blue Buffalo is a good product.  It's a solid canine diet and they did the right thing by voluntarily removing it and even go on to say this:
Blue Buffalo will reimburse any veterinary or testing expenses related to illness caused by these products.
The thing is, when an e-mail goes around from a shelter, they take a very serious tone and tell you the worst things that can happen.  The company putting this out will naturally sugarcoat it, leaving me to think the end result is somewhere in the middle - some dogs will and have gotten very sick.  

What really hit hard for me is that Cara began treatment for an ear infection a couple weeks ago and was put on this medication thing that included a steroid and the vet said she may drink/urinate more (one of the main symptoms that all the dogs I mentioned earlier had in common) than usual and indeed she did, including a couple nights when her water bowl was bone dry.  She finished her treatment a few days ago and appears to be better so she thankfully wasn't affected by this.

The reality is probably that Petco/Petsmart would remove any recalled products from the shelf and I doubt she would begin to show symptoms now as opposed to October.  It's more than likely a very big coincidence but it's troubling nevertheless.  AND WHERE IN ROD BLAGOJEVICH'S TOUPEE-LIKE HAIR WAS THE MEDIA DURING ALL OF THIS???  Seriously, major pet food recall - why didn't I know?  Please, if you saw this in your local newspaper or something (I actually did find it in an online USA Today article but nothing came up when I searched SD Tribune and LA Times) do let me know.

So I'm not as angry as I was but I'm still ticked at Blue Buffalo, their supplier, the media, and Blogspot for deciding to act like a jerk halfway through this post.  I kind of feel like this right now toward all these companies:

Onto more serious food matters, I had the $11.75 All-You-Can-Eat Prime Rib Buffet today from the Oceanview Room in Point Loma, CA.  Here's the third steak:

Steak 3

Cake and cherry cobbler

Ice cream with a little bit of everything

Chocolate mint

If you have Blue Buffalo, please do check to see if your products fall under the ones that were recalled.  And as always, thanks for reading!