In an effort to prevent a recurrence of the massive cat and dog food recall several months ago, Natural Balance Pet Foods launched a new safety program this week that includes enhanced safety testing paired with an interactive program that allows consumers to view the test results of every batch of food online.
The new “Buy With Confidence” program prompts customers to click on the type of cat or dog food purchased, then type in the “best by” date on the package. Test results for that particular lot of cat or dog food will appear, including results for the ingredients responsible for the massive pet food recall – melamine and cyanuric acid.
“Anyone can go online and see the test results,” says Frank Koch, executive vice president for Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. “Nothing will leave our warehouse until it goes through testing … And if it’s detected it will never leave our facility.”
In addition to melamine and cyanuric acid, consumers will see test results for aflatoxin and DON (vomitoxin), as well as which laboratory conducted the tests. Natural Balance conducts the testing for aflatoxin and DON at its laboratories in California, and melamine and cyanuric acid testing currently takes place at Midwest Laboratories in Omaha, Neb.
“Within the next 30 to 60 days all testing will fully take place at Natural Balance laboratories,” says Koch, “but tests that have already been run at Midwest Laboratories will not be re-run because the food has already been tested.”
Because the program is new, all products may not be viewable online yet, adds Koch. Consumers who do not see test results for their particular cat or dog food formula may call the company to obtain the data.
Natural Balance spent just over a half-million dollars to launch the new program, according to Koch.
“It had to be spent,” says Natural Balance president Joey Herrick. “I never want to go through what we went through again.”
To try out or view the new program, visit www.naturalbalance.net.