petMD Survey Reveals Pet Owners Are Concerned About Pet Food Recalls and Safety
June 4, 2013 – A recent petMD survey on the topic of pet food recalls revealed that a majority of pet owners have concerns about the safety of their pets’ food. 86 percent of respondents stated that strict quality control measures are important to them; however, just 15 percent know whether or not the manufacturer of their pet’s food practices strict procedures.
“Responsible pet food companies go to extremes to keep the areas where raw ingredients are received and prepared separate from the areas where the cooked product is processed and packaged,” states Dr. Lorie Huston, Veterinary Advisor to petMD. “What's disconcerting is that not many pet owners know whether their pet food company of choice practices these quality control procedures.”
The survey’s key findings include:
- Pet Food Recalls Affect Consumer Confidence: More than 82 percent of survey respondents said they do not believe pet food manufacturers are “doing all they can to keep pet food free of salmonella and other contaminants.” In many instances, foods are recalled after testing has indicated that a potential problem might exist. Many pet food companies would rather issue a voluntary recall than risk the possibility of even one pet becoming ill.
- Consumers Are Unaware of Pet Food Quality Control Measures: While the majority of survey respondents said they would be more likely to buy a pet food if they knew the manufacturer practiced strict separation of raw ingredients from cooked products, only 15 percent know if the manufacturer of their pet food has such procedures in place.
- Manufacturers Should Hold Pet Food Until Test Results Come Back Clean: Nearly 100 percent of survey respondents said they are strongly against the common industry practice of shipping food to retail destinations before final test results from the manufacturing facilities have identified whether a batch of pet food is salmonella free. While some pet food manufacturers abide by this practice, many do not.
- 'Made in the USA' Pet Food is Preferred: More than 84 percent of respondents prefer pet food products that are manufactured in a U.S. facility. 98 percent want to see ingredients come only from the U.S. or other countries with similar regulatory systems.
- Consumers Want Pet Food Manufacturing Kept 'In-House': 80 percent of respondents said it is important to them that a pet food company manufactures its own food under the supervision of its own employees. Common industry practice, however, is to outsource the manufacture of products to third parties. Pet owners should check the pet food label before purchase. If the food is manufactured by a third party, the pet food label must include the words "manufactured for" or "distributed by" in front of the address of the pet food company.
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