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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Menu Foods Income Fund Recalls Dog and Cat Food

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Menu Foods Income Fund has volunatarily recalled dog and cat food they manufactured between the dates of December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall involves “cuts and gravy” type pet food in cans and pouches that was manufactured at two of the Fund’s United States facilities. The products are manufactured and sold under private label and are contract-manufactured for some popular national brands of pet food.

The fund has received feed back over the past few days from the United States that raises concerns about pet food manufactured since early December and the impact on the renal health of pets that have consumed the products. After receiving the first complaint, the Fund began a battery of tests that were conducted by internal and external specialists but they failed to identify issues with the products. However, they did find the products associated with the complaints, does coincide with the introduction of an ingredient that came from a new supplier. The Fund immediately stopped using this ingredient and since then has been undertaking using ingredients from other suppliers.

At the same time the Fund’s biggest customer, for whom it manufactures for on a contract basis, also received complaints and initiated their own recall. For now the customer has put future orders for cuts and gravy products to the side. In 2006, this customers cuts and gravy purchases made up approximately 11% of the Fund’s annual income.

“We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution” said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. “We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our products maintain the very highest quality standards.”

While the number of complaints has been relatively small, Menu is taking this proactive step out of an abundance of caution, because the health and well-being of pets is paramount to the Fund.

In addition to changing suppliers, for production after March 6, the Fund has increased testing of all raw materials and finished goods. It is also working closely with regulatory authorities and its customers to learn more and will take whatever additional actions are appropriate. The Fund estimates that based on currently available information, this recall could cost between $30 million and $40 million, which will be financed from a combination of internally generated cash flow and bank credit facilities. Furthermore, the Fund is aggressively producing product, utilizing a different supplier for the ingredient in question, to replenish customers as quickly as possible.

In order to determine whether cat and dog food in their possession is subject to recall, consumers should refer to the list of brand names (“listed products”) at www.menufoods.com/recall. This will be available by 6 a.m. Saturday March 17, 2007. Products not identified on the website can continue to be used.