Cat food recall notification to pet owners, all too often, comes way too late, if it happens at all. That's all about to change, if Susan Thixton has her way.
Susan Thixton, of Truth About Pet Food is on a crusade. Her crusade, of course, is focused on safe pet food for all. As part of that crusade, her latest cause is rallying pet owners to pressure pet food companies to notify customers when there's a problem with the food.
More on what you can do below, but first a little background is in order.
In the US, the pet owning public tend to rely on the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture to keep watch and protect us from contaminated foods. Does this work?
At the very least, the sheer number of pet food recalls since 1995, however, tells us that to whatever degree it does work, it's not enough.
Whatever system is in place to protect us can't keep tainted pet food off the market. That much is apparent.
What might not be so apparent, or at least not something that most of us think about often, is the impact to those who've suffered the consequences of purchasing tainted food involved in cat food recall.
What also might not be on our minds as well is the potential impact that future recalls might have to the pet population at large. That impact of course, is that our pets are at risk.
Thousands of cat and dog parents have lost their loved ones through contaminated food. And, to add insult to injury, have had to pay thousands of dollars for the medical problems caused by the deadly cat food.
So, what can we do about this? Well, pressuring companies to make cat food safe for our pets is a good start. Susan Thixton, however, may have a better idea.
In my article on keeping up to date on the cat food recall list we talked about how you can subscribe to consumer email updates from the FDA. Well, and this may not be a surprise to anyone, that may not be enough.
The FDA is not as closely involved as we'd like with many of the manufacturing and distribution problems that occur with commercial pet food.
Not all cat food recalls demand a press release, and not all of them end up being announced by the FDA in a timely fashion. Many of them don't even end up being mentioned on the news at all.
"Quietly, and under the direction of the FDA, Pet Food is being silently recalled from store shelves without public notice."
It's enough to make you want to cook everything for your cats, or feed them a raw food diet. And that's just what many pet owners have done, especially since the massive 2007 recall, and the downturn in the economy.
Pet food products (or any product, for that matter) can't be made 100 percent free of problems or contamination. But, quick notification to customers is probably the next best thing.
There might be good news here, as Susan Thixton is working on a plan to help us out. A plan where cat food recall notifications could come right from the pet food manufacturer directly to you, the customer.
She's calling it the Pet Food Recall First Alert program. If you want to help in this effort, click that link and copy and paste the letter that Susan has prepared for you and email it to your pet food company.
Assuming things go as planned, a pet food company could send out an alert to their customers via email as soon as they knew of a problem with their products.
Just 24 hours after starting her campaign for notification, Susan has received some positive responses from a few pet food companies:
Nature’s Logic Pet Food, Mulligan Stew Pet Foods, Complete Natural Nutrition, The Honest Kitchen Pet Food, and, most notably, Wysong Pet Foods, which has just recently had a recall.
Email notification to pet owners for a cat food recall is certainly a huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we also need more.
While email notification directly from a pet food company to its customers is a spectacular idea, what about those who don't have email? What if you're on vacation or traveling for business when the problem occurs and you're not checking email?
What about sending messages to cell phones via email or text messages? There's an idea. But, what do we do with the people who don't have access to email or cell phones?
We'll have to come up with something, but in the meantime, let's get as many pet food companies as possible on board with email notification direct to the consumer.