Pet Food Scare Sends Searchers Chasing Answers

    March 19, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

When news of a major pet food recall got out, pet owners hit the search engines over the weekend worried about their furry best friends.

One dog, nine cats. That’s the death toll so far in a mysterious outbreak of kidney failure linked to Menu Foods, Inc.’s various pet foods distributed by well-known grocers like Kroger, Safeway, Wal-Mart, and PetSmart.

Canadian Menu Foods recalled 40 different brands of wet cat food and 50 different brands of wet dog food, all of the "cuts and gravy" types processed between December and March. The culprit, according to company statements, may be a change in the supplier of wheat gluten, a protein used in the pet food recipe.

Chances are that Internet searches for recall information will only continue to rise as the news continues to travel. Yahoo reports increases in the thousands of percents for various pet food-related searches.

"Product recalls always cause a stir in Buzz," writes Yahoo’s Erik Gunther. "When information is critical, worried folks turn to the Web for answers."

Gunther reveals these queries among the top 18:

1.IAMS (+1,528%)     2.Eukanuba (+1,197%)     3. (+1,006%)     4. Dog Food Recall (+806%)  

5. Dog Food (+680%)     6. Cat Food Recall (+678%)     7. Science Diet (+665%)     8.  Pet Foods (+604%)

9. Pet Food Recall (+534%)     10. Cat Food (+522%)     11. Purina (+432%)     12. (+392%)

13. Pedigree (+262%)     14. Pet Food Maker (+256%)     15. Menu Foods Recall (+234%)     16. Menufoods (+191%)    

17. Walmart Dog Food Recall (+142%)     18.  Pet Food Recall List (+83%)

While pet owners are worried about their sick pets, Menu Foods Income Fund is worried about its stock price. The recall is expected to cost the company $25-35 million. As reported by Bloomberg, share prices of Menu Foods dropped sharply, falling by as much as 26 percent upon the news.

Of course, the recall has been educational for consumers as well. Your cat may only eat Sophisticat-brand cat food, because she’s finicky and highbrow, and hates the Winn Dixie-brand because that’s for poor strays. It may have been that Madame Whiskers couldn’t form the words "it’s all the same crap" to let you know you’re getting reamed at the checkout counter.

The cat foods recalled:

Americas Choice, Preferred Pets; Authority; Best Choice; Companion; Compliments; Demoulas Market Basket; Eukanuba; Fine Feline Cat; Food Lion; Foodtown; Giant Companion; Hannaford; Hill Country Fare; Hy-Vee; Iams; Laura Lynn; Li’l Red; Loving Meals; Meijer’s Main Choice; Nutriplan; Nutro Max Gourmet Classics; Nutro Natural Choice; Paws; Pet Pride; Presidents Choice; Price Chopper; Priority; Save-A-Lot; Schnucks; Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans; Sophistacat; Special Kitty Canada; Special Kitty US; Springfield Prize; Sprout; Weis Total Pet; Wegmans; Western Family; White Rose; Winn Dixie

The dog foods recalled:

Americas Choice, Preferred Pets; Authority; Award; Best Choice; Big Bet; Big Red; Bloom; Wegmans Bruiser; Cadillac; Companion; Demoulas Market Basket; Eukanuba; Food Lion; Giant Companion; Great Choice; Hannaford; Hill Country Fare; Hy-Vee; Iams; Laura Lynn; Loving Meals; Meijers Main Choice; Mighty Dog Pouch; Mixables; Nutriplan; Nutro Max; Nutro Natural Choice; Nutro Ultra; Nutro; Ol’Roy Canada; Ol’Roy US; Paws; Pet Essentials; Pet Pride – Good n Meaty; Presidents Choice; Price Chopper; Priority; Publix; Roche Bros; Save-A-Lot; Schnucks; Shep Dog; Springsfield Prize; Sprout; Stater Bros; Weis Total Pet; Western Family; White Rose; Winn Dixie;Your Pet