The action came on the same day Milo's Kitchen, a brand of San Francisco-based Del Monte Corp., voluntarily recalled Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers Home-style dog treats for the same reason. Read more here>>
All three treat brands were flagged by the New York State Department of Agriculture, which is consulting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the matter. The FDA has been investigating reports of illnesses and deaths associated with jerky pet treats from China, the source of the chicken in the Waggin' Train, Canyon Creek Ranch and Milo's Kitchen treats.
The FDA reported that New York inspectors discovered the antibiotic residue while using "a new, reportedly more sensitive method." The agency noted that the test results did not raise health concerns "and are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illness FDA has received related to jerky pet treats."
Nestle Purina was careful to call its action a product "withdrawal" rather than a "recall" and noted that the products posed no health risks.
"Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are safe to feed as directed," the company stated. "However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States."
The residue was measured in a relatively low parts per billion, the company stated.
"These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S.," the statement added.
Other Purina treats and pet foods, including Canyon Creek Ranch dog and cat foods, are not part of the withdrawal.
Some time may pass before Waggin' Train treats hit store shelves again, brand president Nina Leigh Krueger says.
"In the final analysis, our company and our loyal consumers must have total confidence in the products we sell and feed our pets," she says.
"Once we understand and determine how to comply with the technicalities of different regulatory frameworks, we will work with all appropriate parties to define the best way to supply the market."
In an update released Wednesday, the FDA advised owners that "jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets."
"Commercially produced pet food, which is very safe, contains all of the nutrients that pets need," the FDA added.
More information about the Nestle Purina products is available by calling the company at 800-982-0704.
Milo's Kitchen representatives may be reached at 877-228-6493.