Monday, 28 January 2013

IMPORTANT RECALL ALERT from the Hartz Mountain Corporation

Regarding: Hartz Chicken Chewz & Oinkies Pig Skin Twists

The Hartz Mountain Corporation has issued a voluntary recall for all of it’s Hartz ® Chicken Chews™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken sold in North America when it was discovered that production had been contaminate by illegal drug residue.  This recall of chicken treats comes on the heels of a mass recall of chicken jerky treats by other brands (also being imported from China) due to the same contamination issue.
In a press release the Harts Mountain Corporation has issued the following statement:

“the Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily withdrawing its Hartz ® Chicken Chews™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken for dogs in North America because they contain trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue.
We are taking this action after recent Hartz testing found trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue in samples of Hartz® Chicken Chews™ and Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken products. Even though two-thirds of the products we tested did not contain antibiotic residues, we would rather be overly cautious by voluntarily withdrawing these products from the market.
These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Based on the FDA’s review of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) results, there is no evidence that raises health concerns, and these results are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.
Immediately upon learning of this finding, Hartz contacted the FDA to share our test results and execute a nationwide voluntary withdrawal.  There have been no known illnesses to date associated with the consumption of these products.
“Upon learning about the nationwide voluntary withdrawal of several other brands of chicken jerky products through media reports, Hartz acted immediately to begin additional testing to determine if the same unapproved antibiotic residues were present in our products,” said Sean McNear , Sr. Director of Quality and Regulatory at Hartz Mountain.
There is no indication that the trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products produced in China. The trace amounts of antibiotic residue do not pose a health or pet safety risk.
No other Hartz products are affected by this withdrawal.
If you have these products contact the Hartz Consumer Affairs team (24 hours/day 7 days/week) at 1-800-275-1414 for a product refund or go to for additional information.”

Taking the recommendation of many dog journals, I’ve been checking all my treat labels to ensure that all the treats and foods I’ve been buying for Bear have been made in either Canada or the United States.  If this means that I have to pay a little extra for a higher quality treat then so be it. 
For those who are just now learning of the chicken product recall from China, I would very strongly suggest checking your fur-baby’s food and treat labels.  As the Hartz Mountain Company said, even though 67% of the treats tested came back negative for traces of “unapproved traces of antibiotic residue” the 33% chance that your dog may be eating contaminated treats is a pretty big risk to take. 

I am taking this opportunity to add my voice (and subsequently Bear’s voice as well) to the recommendation that until it becomes 100% safe for our dogs to consume any chicken project made in China, that consumers avoid all chicken jerky type treats imported from China and instead choose US or Canada-made alternatives. We hope that through our action more brands will issue additional recalls and will continue to do so until all Chinese chicken jerky treats are removed from store shelves.

Let's keep our pets happy and healthy!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

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