The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter on February 28 to Pet Center, Inc., of Los Angeles, California. The letter was made public by the FDA on April 19.
According to the letter, Pet Center manufactures dog treats, including Bully Sticks (bull pizzles), Chicken Breast Tenders, and various flavors of SuperChews. The inspections, which took place September 21, 2021 and October 8, 2021, were conducted as a follow up to a previous inspection that the FDA conducted between June 21, 2021 and July 13, 2021.
The inspections revealed violations of the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements for animal food, with references to the following:
“… an employee used a shovel to scoop in-process cooked beef backstrap into a rolling metal cart. The shovel was stored with its food-contact surface in direct contact with the processing room’s floor and the employee did not clean and sanitize the shovel before use.”
“Animal feces in the meat washing room, approximately five feet from an open screen door.”
“Flies were present throughout the facility and were landing on raw, in-process bull pizzles and chicken.”
“Plastic clamps used to clamp bull pizzles to dry them into a curled shape were covered in dark brown to green filth material. Additionally, nearly all exposed metal components of the clamps were orange and covered in a rust-like dust.”
The FDA letter included the following conclusion:
“This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive statement of violations that may exist at your facility and in connection with your products. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of any violations and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that your firm complies with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations.
“This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you an opportunity to address them. You should take prompt action to correct any violations. Failure to adequately address this matter may lead to legal or regulatory action, including without limitation, seizure, and injunction.”