FDA Sends Warning Letter to Purina About ‘Unsanitary Conditions’ at Pa. Pet Food Plant

The FDA cited Purina for improperly preparing and packaging the above pet foods at its plant in Pennsylvania.
The FDA cited Purina for improperly preparing and packaging the above pet foods at its plant in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia office of the Food and Drug Administration sent a stern warning letter to the Nestle Purina PetCare Co. plant located in South Whitehall Township, Pa., noting “significant violations” discovered during an inspection of the plant that the FDA conducted between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, 2014.

Specifically, the letter noted that Purina’s low acid dog and cat foods were allegedly prepared and packaged improperly.

The cited products were Alpo Chop House Rotisserie Chicken flavor in Gourmet Gravy, Friskies Mariner’s Catch and Friskies Mixed Grill, all wet food in cans or pouches.

According to news reports, the violations involved:

  • Failure to process each low acid canned food in conformity with an FDA-specified process.
  • Failure to chlorinate or otherwise sanitize cooling water for the cooling canals and recirculated water supplies.
  • Failure to establish a system for product-traffic control. FDA inspectors say can conveyors and the reject chute did not have adequate protection to prevent an unprocessed can from falling into the cooling canal in case of a can jam or other equipment malfunction.

Keith Schopp, a spokesman for Nestle Purina at its North American headquarters in St. Louis, countered that the company is confident that there are no food safety issues or risks to pet health with the company’s products. He said the company was unaware of any product recalls or reports of animals being sickened by these products.

However, the FDA does not agree, and has warned Purina to remedy these alleged issues at the plant.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

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