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« The 'food of love' thing: How I learned to stop hating food and how to cook | Main | What is the Tea Party bus doing in San Francisco tonight? »

25 July 2010

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Christie Keith

Their Facebook page hasn't been updated in a week, and it's been a month since their Twitter feed had a post.

http://www.facebook.com/Iams
http://twitter.com/IAMS

Therese

If Sunday's really the first they could announce it that's great! What bothers me though is that even though they announced it on a Sunday, they're telling people to call Monday-Friday if they have questions. The cats who are eating this food already have a health problem. If their people find out about the recall today they may panic. Obviously Iams can't give out veterinary advice, but it sure would have been nice if they'd had someone on the phones just to field the calls and let their customers be heard.

Sandi K

When Iams had their recent wet cat food recall for thiamine deficiency, they did a much better job on that recall than this one. I see nothing at their site and its interesting that this is announced on a Sunday. Why would they handle this recall so differently than their last one?

Christie Keith

We'll see... I've been checking our Pet Connection email, so far nothing, and I can't find anything on Twitter either. I actually think it's a plus they released on Sunday rather than waiting until Monday, but even on a Sunday, I think P&G could muster the staff to update the site and blast their social media outlets.

Sandi K

Yeah I agree Christie, maybe it will be up soon. If not, it sure is different than before and it makes one wonder why they would handle this one differently...you would think they would use the same practice they did last time because it worked well for them. The recall chatter went away pretty quickly for them partly because they handled it so well, contacting pet blogs, an announcement at their site right away, etc. As for the Sunday announcement, I was wondering if they perhaps knew sooner than today because it says an FDA analyses detected it, I was wondering if they have really been in contact with FDA on a Sunday...

Sandi K

Good point Therese!

Christie Keith

I'm also getting tired of how every time a raw food is found to have salmonella it's an indictment of raw foods, but when it's a processed food? Crickets.

Therese

I've been hitting the redial on my phone almost constantly for the past 20 minutes trying to call the Iams 877 number. Obviously people are trying to get more info. I sure hope they're press release is wrong and they do have people taking calls today. I'd love to get through just long enough to verify that.

Christie Keith

Therese, did you call the media contact number?

Therese

Christie, I've left a message with him and asked for a call back. I also tried the customer relations number listed on the release, the number listed on their website, and their Veterinary service center number. All of them have messages saying they're closed and to call back Monday-Friday.

Sandi K

I think the other thing that bothers me about this release, is they say no illnesses have been reported, but like Therese pointed out, kitties that might be eating this food are already sick with kidney issues....which have some of the same symptoms as listed for salmonella....so would a vet know that its the food that is causing the symptoms?

Sandi K

Comment by Christie Keith — July 25, 2010 @ 1:56 pm



I havent seen that as much as here as maybe some other places. But I think it goes both ways, I know because I been told I dont love my cat because I dont feed raw. I dont care what people feed, I want good QC practices, quick recall announcements and those announcements put everywhere a company possibly can.



One thing Ive gotten confused on in the past is wanting a raw company to be more open about their recall and then get told by someone who feeds raw, thats its a non issue because they expect salmonella in their food...then I feel silly for saying anything about wanting the company to post something. But I would think anyone would want to know regardless of what type of food it is?

Sandi K

Christie, thank you so much for writing that. I really wasnt sure. Now I wont feel so silly in the future when Im screaming about wanting all pet food companies to do the same thing.

Christie Keith

I think it's disingenuous crap to have one set of standards for raw and another for non-raw foods and say it's because raw foods are "expected" to have salmonella. I sure as hell don't "expect" salmonella in my raw foods, and while many Americans may have grown to accept it, it shouldn't be there and we shouldn't accept it.



Now, do I think Americans are hysterically germ-phobic? Yes, I do, but they're that way about essentially harmless and ubiquitous microbes, buying hand sanitizers and wiping their kids' toys down with bleach and trying to sterilize their homes. It's nuts.



That's an entirely different issue than the systemic contamination of our food supply with fecal bacteria as the result of poor processing practices and greed.



There should not be salmonella in raw foods or cooked foods. Period. And if a company has a theory about why the FDA's tests are wrong, by all means, tell the world. Make your case. I'm perfectly willing to believe the FDA tests are wrong as long as there is some evidence to support that claim and it's not just conspiracy theorizing.



But then you have to step back and let the consumer make up his own mind. And if you believe the consumer is "doing it wrong," if you think they're being fooled, that's just how the market works. You don't get to hide or obscure recalls, or decide for your customers (current and potential) what they do and don't need to know, and when.



Cooked, raw, canned, pouched, kibble, or some form of food yet unknown: You disclose everything the minute you know it, as completely and transparently and LOUDLY and WIDELY as you can. Then you stick around and answer questions, and you don't make excuses or sound whiney.



Those companies that do that are the ones who emerge from a crisis with their reputation intact and their customers still loyal. Those who don't are squandering all the good will they've built up, and making the whole industry look bad.

Gina Spadafori

Almost all the best posts on this blog are Christie's. Especially This one.

Sandi K

And as for Iams, this is now the 2nd recall within 2 months, the first being for thiamine problems in their wet food in June, now this one for salmonella in prescription dry food. Iams, whats going on with the QC?

Sandi K

Comment by Gina Spadafori — July 25, 2010 @ 3:47 pm



And I think Christie would think the same of your posts. I think all of you have had really good posts on lotsa subjects....Im still recovering from David's post yesterday about the forever dogs. Thanks to him, my sinuses are acting up today. lol! (-:

Sandi K

This is kind of separate but at the same time related. Sometimes I wonder if some folks are becoming a little desensitized when it comes to pet food recalls? A bit of trivia, but I have kept track and this year there have been 8 recalls for pet food, treats or supplements and this is only the latter part of July. So that works out to at least one a month so far for 2010 and thats not including the recalls that were expanded and there were 4 of those.

Gina Spadafori

Sandi ... I was just wondering that myself. I don't know the answer, though.

Ingrid King

Thanks for posting the link to Christie's article from 2008, Gina. Wow - what an excellent piece!



On the subject of recalls, I, like Sandi, have wondered whether we're becoming desensitized to recalls since there have been so many of them. But at the same time, I also can't help but wonder whether the recalls we hear about are only the tip of the iceberg? How many other issues never see the light of day?

David S. Greene

Thanks so much for your comment, Bev. The stars may not have fully aligned for Iams (Sunday FDA alert can't be helped, and the social media channels and Iams website are still lagging behind -- that can be fixed today, right Bev?), but I'd say that as recalls go, Iams did a better job than many others in getting the word out quickly, broadly and clearly. Certain companies --not going to name names-- should take notes from Iams/PG.

Bev

Hi. As Christie and Gina both know, I work for Iams in Consumer Relations. I want to say thank you, Christie and PetConnection, for alerting folks to our recall of Iams Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal. We knew that issuing a recall over the weekend would be complex, but the FDA dictated the timing. We have been a little challenged to get all of our tools and processes in place so that we can notify and sufficiently answer consumers.



Sunday, in addition to sending the public press release out over PRNewswire, we sent out a blast fax recall notification to all of the clinics that have purchased the Feline Renal diet, so that they can contact their clients. We also notified VIN (the Veterinary Information Network) and the AVMA. Today (Monday), our phone center is taking calls and notice is going up on our web sites.



This all happened very quickly. We’re sorry that our phone center was not open on Sunday when the announcement was posted to the FDA web site. We would have preferred to have all of our ducks in a row, but instead we are playing catch up. Thank you again, PetConnection, for paying attention to the news and getting the word out. We really appreciate it.



And if anyone has questions or concerns about this recall, please give us a call at 877-894-4458 or email us from the Iams.com site.

Joy

If it's true that the FDA dictates the timing of these recall announcements then I guess we can't really blame the companies when their announcments happen on weekends.

Joy

I don't understand the claim of "potential" salmonella contamination. The same article states that the coded products were analyzed by the FDA and tested positive for salmonella.

Sandi K

Comment by Bev — July 26, 2010 @ 8:46 am See, I guess the way I see it is if Iams can issue a press release on a Sunday, you can put the notification at your site and at Twitter also on a Sunday. I dont know what time it is in Iams land, but I havent seen those notices yet. Maybe Im being too hard, but with a company as large as P&G, one would think the notices could be up right away.

Joy

This recall is still not on the Iams website

Carol V

I too can not find this recall on the website...Not acceptable...websites are open 24/7 and should be manned for emergencies...P&G has no excuse for the website STILL not posting this...Sad as I used to remind people IAM's stepped up to the plate in March of 2007 on behalf of pets and their owners...looks like they have let their standards down a little..

Christie Keith

Excuse me, Sandi, I think it's the responsibility of the the corporate powers that be at P&G to manage their corporate communications, not an employee outside the management structure who presumably gets weekends off as part of her compensation. The official IAMS Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as the website, are where this should have been posted, by the CEO if necessary, but don't suggest Bev herself has to be on call 24/7 to benefit the corporation for which she works.

We want industry to step up and behave ethically and openly. If that means they need to hire weekend coverage for their communications department, then they need to do that. But to blame a low-level staffer for not working on the weekend? It just takes the heat off the only people who have responsibility here.

Sandi K

I dont know if this is the same person as Bev with Iams above but it appears this is her Twitter account: http://twitter.com/PetCareBev Would have been real quick to just link to the press release from your Twitter account seeing how you were able to post a lengthy comment here. You have over 1400 followers, that deserve quick notification.

Sandi K

Im sorry Christie, Im not blaming her for not working on the weekend, I just felt if a company rep is able to post a statement on behalf of the company here this morning then they could have tweeted something on their account this morning as well. She used the word 'we' when posting about the recall here so I assumed she was involved with communications for the company. I didnt intend to take the heat off of who has responsiblity. Sigh...I guess Im just seeing it differently and perhaps I dont understand how it all works.

Leslie K

Still nothing on the Iams website.

Carol V

The info on the P&G website is still not on IAM's main page...Just wondering how many cat owners know that IAM's is a P&G product..again to me it looks like they feel this is not important to post...but why...

Carla

My dog and cat both have been raised on Iams dry cat and dog food their entire lives. Last week we had to put my cat to sleep the vet said it was kidney failure, he was 13 years old. Then ten days after our cat died my 7 year old poodle died within 7 hours of her first symptoms. She woke up yesterday passing nothing but bloody stool, vomiting blood, fatigued, and reddish/purple areas all over her body that just apeared within a few days. Within two hours she was at the vet. She had two more bloody stools and within 4 hours of seeing the vet she died. Now I think the two situation are connected to the Iams food after reviewing all comments on the internet sights. My poodle would also eat the cats food too.

Carla

My vet was not aware of the recall either.

Therese

The release is finally on the website, but it looks like they did a cut & paste job from their last recall.



P&G Recalls Two Lots of Prescription Renal Diet Cat Food Due to a Possible Health Risk

Due to Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)



http://media.iams.com/iams/en_US/data_root/html/recall_message.html



I just emailed Bev to let her know about the error, so hopefully it'll be fixed soon.

Sandi K

OK and then next is Twitter, Iams?

Joy

I'm on the FDA recall alert email list and got the first notice of this recall at 2:15 est today. Still nothing on the Iams website. Weird.

Gina Spadafori

It is on their homepage, Joy. Not sure when it went up, but it's there. The fact that you have to look to find it means they can do better -- it's in a box on the right, towards the bottom.



But it IS on their homepage.

Joy

Wow! I looked and looked and couldn't find it for the longest time. It was like one of those seek & find video games my kids play. Anyway, thanks Gina....with your direction I found it there in the little orange box on the bottom of the page. I guess it is actually at media.iams.com...maybe that was my mistake.

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