Menu Foods Tainted Pet Food: The Pain is Felt Everywhere

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Emporia, KSMenu Foods has been out of the headlines for awhile now, since news of tainted pet food broke back in the spring that contaminated wheat gluten imported from China was making pets ill across the nation, many of them dying.

In fact, the Veterinary Information Network had reported 1500 deaths, but that number could fall far short of the reality, according to comments attributed to Veterinary Cardiologist Dr. Paul Pion appearing Christmas Day in's The Plain Dealer. He says that number could easily be thousands, or tens of thousands.

That number could have easily increased by five, had Janine Anderson and Mike Dainis failed to nurse their five cats back to health. The cats were hospitalized with kidney failure after eating some of the contaminated pet food eventually recalled by Menu Foods.

Sick CatThe cats aren't out of the woods yet, and still require home-cooked meals together with regular doses of TLC. The Lakewood couple estimates they have spent $16,000 to rescue the health of their cats, since the felines ate the tainted food.

It appears the Menu Foods recall has resulted in tremendous cost to Menu Foods as well. In recent months the Canadian company, headquartered in Streetsville in the Metropolitan Toronto area, has had to lay off staff at its Emporia, Kansas plant—and overall expects to have to cut its total workforce by up to 15 per cent, in the wake of the tainted pet food debacle. reports that retailers and foodmakers, which accounted for 37 per cent of Menu Foods pet food sales, have halted orders.

And the company now expects recall costs to be 22 per cent higher than originally forecast. Expenses directly related to the recall will reach Cdn. $55 million, a rise from the previous estimate of Cdn. $45 million.

What's more, the CEO of the company is voluntarily reducing his compensation by 22 per cent, and other key Menu Foods executives have agreed to a 17 per cent wage rollback. Directors will see a 20 per cent cut in their fee packets, all in an effort to share the pain of a massive recall that saw Menu Foods trigger the return of 60 million cans and wet pouches of food sold across 100 different brands.

While the company made some money on the sale of some of its assets, including a production plant located in North Sioux City, South Dakota—it will also be losing business as a result. Mars Inc., a pet food supplier that controls the Nutro and Royal Canin brands, has decided to manufacture the brands on its own, rather than contract the work out to Menu Foods. Mars, in fact, bought the South Dakota plant from Menu.

Menu Foods served as a contracted third-party manufacturer of pet food on behalf of several brands. Not only has the recall and the surrounding media attention been a blow to Menu, but it has also contributed a black mark to some high-profile brands affected by the contamination. Consumers of these products would have no idea, without reading the fine print, that someone else manufactured their favorite pet food.

Menu found itself recalling a massive amount of pet food in the spring of this year after pets nationwide were falling ill from various ailments, including renal failure. Many died.

It was later determined that imported wheat gluten contained melamine, a toxic substance used in the manufacturing of plastic cutlery and fertilizer.

Menu Foods sourced the wheat gluten from China.

Janine and Mike, the Lakewood couple, appear to have their five cats on the mend. A settlement with Menu Foods' insurance company approached, but did not cover all of their expenses.

For Menu Foods, the pain is still being felt. Product returns are an ongoing issue, and the company expects to spend Cdn. $ 6.2 million to scale down operations.

There are more than 100 class-action lawsuits pending.

Menu Pet Foods Legal Help

If your pet has suffered or died as a result of eating any of these pet foods, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Menu Pet Foods Lawsuit] to review your case at no cost or obligation.

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