When shopping for pet food, comparing labels can be tempting. But recent FDA recalls are showing that there’s more to pet food than just the label.
It’s not easy being an educated consumer these days, given the huge variety of products out there. Naturally, you want to educate yourself before feeling confident about the ones you’ll bring into your home and entrust your family to. So it makes perfect sense that consumers look to measures right in front of them, printed in black and white on a label, to try to make an educated decision.
But - it’s time to change the thinking on product comparisons.
The Latest on Recent FDA Violations and Pet Food
You’ve heard it from us before: building trust with a company goes beyond reading labels and making side-by-side comparisons; it's about recognizing that a product's true value goes beyond its ingredient list.
Recent reporting of FDA violations demonstrates products, pet food in this case, don’t even have to be in the same category to make a comparison more revealing than a label line-up.
Earlier this year, a raw pet food company was cited by the FDA for violations including pathogen contamination. You’d be right to say that’s not unusual - raw foods are always in the news for contamination - but here’s where ingredient lists as a valid comparison get tossed out, because a company’s actions speak louder than their labels: One of the companies showed positive tests for pathogens in 49 products during August 2021 and August 2022, with a recall in July 2022.
The Wrong Way to Address an FDA Violation
So what did the company in question do to correct this and keep customers safe? Reportedly, nothing.
Read that again - a pet food company tested for pathogens, the tests were repeatedly positive for Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella spp., and they continued production without fixing the problem.
The company was aware its safety program didn't work, but it failed to recognize this as a threat to customer safety and didn't adequately address it. This resulted in at least one contaminated batch being sold, which later tested positive by the FDA and triggered a recall.
How’d it get to that point? The FDA uncovered the company’s documentation, which proved the step they used to prevent these pathogens wasn’t effective. Even after the 2022 recall and reporting “corrective measures”, pathogens were still turning up in the company’s products, according to the FDA warning.
Does that shift your perception of just focusing on what you can read on a label?
Our take is that the emphasis on pet food labels alone isn’t enough, and this recent report drives that home. While this company seemed to have healthy ingredients, their behind-the-scenes actions and emergency response was simply inadequate, resulting in the compromised health and safety of their customers.
Staying informed as a pet parent requires more than reading labels. You also need to understand the recall practices and processes each company uses to keep your pets healthy.
Ensure Your Pet’s Health and Safety with Life’s Abundance
Making products that are safe and effective is Hard, with a capital H. It’s expensive and can span years in development, so it takes commitment, rigor and energy. There are plenty of shortcuts that can be taken at every step, and it’s easy to see how a company motivated by profit can be tempted in this direction.
At Life’s Abundance, when it comes to helping pet parents understand what they’re getting in every bag of food and treats, we do things differently. Our decisions are purpose-driven. Because our employee-owners are not only invested in the future of our products and the company, but also the health and happiness of your family, you get an unmatched level of transparency of what’s going into our products.
As a Certified Evergreen company, we plan for the future (100+ years out!) and this commitment to long-term goals includes the highest standards for safety and quality - not just making a quick buck. Our recall system is quick, efficient, and effective. While we haven’t had to use it before, and hope to never put it into action, safety is our #1 priority. That’s why we have this backup in place.
In the end, when you receive a package from us, you’re getting an unmatched product. And while our labels show this, we take extra steps to ensure your pet’s safety. Knowing who your pet's food comes from is so important - almost as important as giving your pet the extra love and attention they deserve every day!
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