FDA Tracks Pet Food-Related Illnesses

New web-based system tracks pet illnesses associated with pet food.

Posted: August 3, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Partnership for Food Protection launch a web-based system to track pet illnesses associated with pet food.

The Pet Event Tracking Network will allow FDA and federal and state agencies to voluntarily share in real-time information about pet food-related incidents, such as illness associated with the consumption of pet food or pet food product defects.  

The system was developed by FDA and the Partnership for Food Protection, which includes state and local public health officials and representatives from several federal agencies, in the wake of the mass pet food recalls in 2007. One difficulty faced during that incident, according to FDA, was the timely sharing of information between the agency and the states and among the states themselves. PETNet is designed to allow for better communications between the various government officials.

PETNet will be accessible to federal, state and territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals. It is currently made up of over 200 representatives from four federal agencies, all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Members will enter “events” into the system when they have identified a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food products, as well as pet food product defects within their own jurisdiction that should be communicated to their regulatory counterparts. Once entered on the standardized form, the information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members. This will enable PETNet members to track the emergence of such data and to evaluate the need for action within individual jurisdictions, according to FDA.
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Kirsti   Nikiski, AK

8/21/2011 3:22:31 PM

I lost my sweet, beautiful young dog Indigo due to the stupid melamine contamination of the Kirkland 2 flavor variety pack in 2007. To this day I am still very mad that it happened and I will NEVER buy any Kirkland signature dog or cat food again. A whole MONTH after my baby got sick and couldn't be saved (she was euthanized) I received a paper in the mail warning to not feed the food and apologizing for any "inconvenience", as they called the loss of my beloved dog and those of thousands of other people. Every time I hear of a pet food recall it scared me. If what was going into the bags of pet food being sold at the stores was REAL food, we wouldn't have this kind of thing happen!!

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gina   montclair, NJ

8/8/2011 9:53:47 AM

thank you so much. i lost a small dog in march after she developed seizures and was diagnosed with menengitis. when i gave the er vet the treats that my dog had started 2 weeks earlier and suggested they were responsible i was told they didn't test food. she passed 8 wks later.

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Hossi   Coon Rapids, MN

8/6/2011 3:29:18 PM

This sounds like a great idea! There are so many uninformed people out there that if given an access tool, would be able to know what's going on before their pet gets sick.

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Michele   orange, CA

8/5/2011 5:49:09 PM

In March of this year my 2 yr old cockapoo became very ill after eating a can of Pet Pride pet food (lamb flavor) which I had purchased at Ralph's.I have another cockapoo which eats a special food and she was fine. I almost lost my dog as she was very ill w n/v and bloody stools. She spent 3 days at the vet's office. I contacted Ralph's for they had no reports of any problems w their Pet Pride. However, they no longer sell it at my store. I am glad to see an article where pet owners can tell of their experiences with pet foods.

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