Saturday, October 3, 2009

Premium Edge by Diamond Cat food recall

Diamond foods has announced a recall of their Premium Edge cat foods. Several cases were posted in the past 1-2 weeks on our veterinary computer network, and thanks to some astute detective work and a little bit of luck, a rash of cats with severe neurologic symptoms was tracked down to food that was deficient in thiamin, most likely due to poor quality control during processing.

My personal opinion in this case...Diamond is involved WAY too often in recalls with fairly serious implications. This is something I worry about with many of the specialty "boutique" type foods, typically sold only through pet stores, generally at the high end of the price range, but often from smaller companies who just don't have the resources to maintain the safety and quality control of some of the larger companies. Often they are rated quite high on lists produced by companies such as the Whole Dog Journal; but their ratings seem to be based only on label comparisons which tell only a small part of the story. As a matter of fact, WDJ's top rated food was involved in a huge recall several years ago in which a number of dogs died; the actual source of the problem was never identified to my knowledge but a number of problems and deficiencies with the diet were identified in trying to track down the source of the problem.

I think also you have to be aware of and differentiate between industry wide issues, such as the big melamine problem a couple of years ago; recalls for minor issues to be on the safe side, and recalls in which serious illness or death occurred due to quality control and processing issues. The latter issue is one that I look at when evaluating food quality. Buyer beware!

Diamond Pet Foods has withdrawn from distribution the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball cat: RAF0501A22X 18lb., RAF0501A2X 6 lb., RAH0501A22X 18 lb., RAH0501A2X 6lb. The calls from pet owners or veterinarians regarding this issue have been centered in the Rochester, NY area. All retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves. The retailers were also asked to contact their customers via email or telephone requesting them to check the date code of the food. However, if you or anyone you know has these date codes of Premium Edge cat food, please return them to your retailer. Symptoms displayed by an affected cat will be neurological in nature. Any cats fed these date codes that display these symptoms should be immediately taken to a veterinarian.Product testing proved no contaminants were discovered in the cat food; however the cat foods were deficient in thiamine. Diamond tracked the vitamin premix lot number that was utilized in these particular cat foods and have performed testing on another lot of Premium Edge cat food that used the same vitamin premix, and it was not deficient in thiamine. No other neurological signs have been reported on any other product manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.

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