Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Open Letter to Pet Food Retailers, Distributors and other sellers of Pet Food.

Dear Retailers and Distributors of pet food:

The current pet food recall is one of the largest in history and has put a time-critical burden on your companies, distribution network and staff. You have moved quickly to get the recalled pet food off your shelves. However, due to the size of the recall and continuing expansion of recalled products and dates, it can be confusing for both you and your customers.

Our Shared Priority: Getting All Recalled Pet Food Off Shelves

At this stage of the recall, the current priority is ensuring that all recalled pet food is off the shelves around the country.

In most cases your standard recall procedures went into effect to ensure that products involved were removed from your shelves and not offered for sale. However, in a recall of this size and scope it is possible that some products may be missed.

Since we all share the same goal of only safe products on your shelves, we have suggested ways to let your customers, a highly-motivated group of concerned people, assist you in the recall process. We have created the following tools to help:

Recall Tools and Reporting Methods

1) A printable list of recalled pet foods with new extended recall dates and additional recall items at (link)

Because this is a complex process the list will also contain some contact numbers of major retailers to speed coordination between local stores and their headquarters.
We also have contacted the FDA to determine how best to report the information collected.

2) A central online forum where people can self report what they have found out in their state and city at www.itchmo/forums (link)

The online forum will give people a place to share information and to avoid duplication of effort. It will also be helpful for any retailers who want to communicate directly with their customers and inform them of their specific processes, procedures and steps already taken in this crisis.

A Polite Reporting Process for People

We are directing people to alert your in-store management if they have questions about items on the shelf. We understand you have standard procedures and internal verification methods to follow and have advised people to be polite in the event of confusion. To that end if you would like to provide us with a special national number or group to contact within your organization (such as the recall coordinator) we will include that info on our websites and printed materials.

Retailers and Customers: Working Together to Protect Pets

We respect your desire to always do the right thing with it comes to food safety and hope you will understand our need to ensure the well being of our pets. We want to emphasize that we are not trying to play gotcha with mistakes or oversights but to simply ensure that all recalled pet food is off the shelves around the country.

This pet food recall has left many of your customers feeling frightened and powerless. By allowing them to assist in this process you can demonstrate your genuine concern for their pets as well as their business.


The Pet Food Safety Working Group*

Spocko, Spocko's Brain

*Who are we?

As Gina at Petconnection says: We are an "informal members of a team of Web sites whose owners wanted to help. None of us ever heard of the other before, but we all somehow found our niche and together, we provided more support than any one of us alone could have. Itchmo, Howl911, PetFoodTracker, The Pet Food List and more — we’ve all pitched in together to get the information out there."

To read more about our call for volunteers to get the recalled food off the shelves. See Call for volunteers.


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