Pet food recall: September 2014

Photo by PurpleLorikeet Foter CC BY-NC-ND
KONG® silent recall of dog treat has consumers questioning brand's integrity

By Stacey Gonzalez
The Dog Food Advisor (DFA) has announced a recall of KONG® Aussie Sticks for dogs due to possible contamination with mold. Although the DFA reported the recall on Sept. 25 no release by the products manufacturer has been made available to the public.

The manufacturer of the chew treat JAKKS Pacific- based in Walnut, California- has yet to issue a release informing customers specific details about where the product was sold such as store locations or online distribution. The recall of the KONG® Aussie Sticks appears to be a "silent recall."


"According to a letter obtained from JAKKS Pacific and forwarded by KONG® to The Dog Food Advisor, the recalled product was sold only at PetSmart," stated the DFA report.

The item numbers of the recalled product are 75559 and 75560 and the best before dates are listed as 1/30/16 and 1/31/16. The report quotes an unnamed JAKKS Pacific company spokesperson as saying “the products were not dried properly so a small percentage of finished goods have gone moldy."

“Majority of the product is fine, and the mold was caught at our distribution center, but some product may have made it to PetSmart so we are recalling all the product at PetSmart and destroying all the product we have at our distribution center,” the spokesperson continued.

The spokesperson advises customers to return the products to PetSmart to receive a full refund however the DFA and consumers are displaying distrust in JAKKS Pacific and KONG® due to the lack of information available on this recall.

"We are troubled by the covert nature and lack of transparency exhibited by both companies associated with this particular event," the DFA report states. "Obtaining confirmation and collecting details about this recall were especially challenging. Apparently, the companies only notified PetSmart and relevant distribution centers. And as far as we can tell, neither has made any effort to post a public notice."

One KONG® customer also posted a comment on the report with some more troubling information. User Mindy Bailey claims to have had a similar issue with another KONG® product.

"I also wanted to make people aware that it's not just the Aussie treats that have mold. I purchased Farmers Basket Beef Burgers from PetsMart as well and they were moldy. The item number was 12814 and the expiration date was 6/9/2016. I called KONG® customer service and they said someone from JAKKS would return my call but they never did," Bailey posted on Sept. 26.

KONG® does in fact have a product called Farmer's Basket Beef Burgers Dog Treat and is a very trusted pet treat and toy brand. KONG® products can be found in most big box pet food chains and specialty pet supply retailers. Customers can contact JAKKS Pacific at 877-875-2557, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm PT. Contact KONG® at 303-216-2626.

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