How to Check Pet Food Recalls

Three Parts:Searching Online For a Pet Food RecallVerifying a Pet Food RecallDealing With Recalled Pet Food

Feeding your pet a good quality food is a very important part of keeping it healthy and thriving. However, while we all try to do our part by picking out the best food for our particular pet, sometimes even the best foods are not up to par. In order to assure that the food you are feeding your pet is safe, no matter what commercial food you are feeding your pet, it's important to check for recalls regularly. This will help you assure that you are feeding your pet safe and nutritious food.

Part 1
Searching Online For a Pet Food Recall

  1. 1
    Do a general online search. When looking for information online, especially if you don't know what website to go to specifically, it's usually best to do a general search with a search engine. Begin by going to your favorite search engine and entering "pet food recall" and the current year. This should give you some good options of websites to look at.
    • You can also search for your specific brand of food by typing it in along with "pet food recall." However, this will likely go directly to the company's website. While they will list current recalls, and will have detailed recall information, it's good to also get recall information from another entity as well, particularity from a governmental agency overseeing recalls.
  2. 2
    Look at the websites of animal protection organizations. Once your results come up from your general search, pick ones to look at that are from reliable sources. This can be hard to judge sometimes but in the case of food recalls, organizations that are concerned with animal health and protection should have reliable information.
    • Organizations for animal protection, such as the ASPCA, list pet food recalls on their websites. In addition, large veterinary organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, also list current recalls.
  3. 3
    Search for a listing on a governmental website. There is usually a governmental agency that oversees recalls and they should post reliable information on their website. For example, beginning in 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the rules for the safety of pet food manufacturing and it oversees recalls in the United States.[1] To get official information about pet food recalls in the U.S., it is a good idea to go to their website.
    • Not all countries have a governmental agency that oversees recalls. If your country does not, then it is probably up to the individual manufacturers to institute their own recalls.

Part 2
Verifying a Pet Food Recall

  1. 1
    Check regularly for recalls of your pet food. It is a good idea look online for recalls regularly, so that you can avoid feeding your pet food that has been recalled. Place it on your calendar to check the current recalls every few months, so that you stay up to date.
    • There are also websites that will send you emails about pet food recalls that come out. However, they require your email address, so you may get junk emails in addition to food recall alerts.[2]
  2. 2
    Check your food's brand against recalls. Pet food recalls will specify the exact brand, type, and usually size of container that has been recalled. If your food has been recalled, it will match the description online exactly.[3]
    • Most of the time all the food made by a brand is not recalled, but instead only a specific type that was manufactured at a specific time is recalled.
    • Recalls may also contain a picture of the package so that you can compare that as well.[4]
  3. 3
    Check the specific lot number, UPC number, and expiration date. Many recalls list specific bags or containers that have been recalled. They do this by listing the lot number, UPC numbers (production code number), and the expiration date.[5] Check your products numbers and expiration date against those included in the recall.
    • If all of your product's numbers match, then you can be positive that your pet food is recalled.

Part 3
Dealing With Recalled Pet Food

  1. 1
    Stop feeding the food to your pet immediately. If you are sure that your pet's food has been recalled then you should not feed any more to your pet. Even if your pet has not gotten sick from the recalled food, you should not give any more to your pet.[6]
  2. 2
    Look up the recall information on the manufacturer's website. This will give you more information about the recall, it will instruct you about what to do with recalled food, and it will also give you information about how to contact the company about a refund, if available.[7]
    • Look up instructions from the manufacturer. Pet food companies that recall their products control how the recalls are dealt with. By looking at the manufacturer's website, you can figure out how to proceed.
  3. 3
    Return the pet food if instructed to do so. In some cases, you can return recalled pet food to the store you bought it at.[8] They should give you a refund for the purchase price.
    • If the food is recalled because it poses a public health risk, then it is the responsibility of the manufacturer that the food be disposed of properly. This proper disposal is required to keep the food out of the animal and human food chain.
  4. 4
    Dispose of the food yourself, if instructed to do so. In some cases, you can simply put the food in the garbage.[9] This may be the case when the food is of low quality, has another lesser issue, is not a hazard, or will spoil if returned.
    • Many companies, even if you are disposing of the food yourself, will issue you a refund. You will have to follow the instructions they post on their website or call their customer service line to get instructions for getting your money back.


  • In order to be able to assess whether your pet's food has been recalled, save the label even if you transfer the food to another container. The label, including the name, UPC number, and the expiration date, is necessary for assessing whether your pet's food has been recalled.[10]

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Categories: Food Safety | Pet Hazards