JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man is warning others after he found what appeared to be maggots in his dog’s food.
Bradley Terry saw a video on social media of someone else finding what appeared to be maggots in Purina Pro Plan Savor food. Since Bradley gives his dog, Cocoa, the same food, he decided to check it.
First, he noticed small moths inside the sealed, plastic container in which he keeps the food. Then, he broke apart the chunks of meat in the dog food.
“That’s when I noticed that there were, in fact, worms or maggots in the food itself,” Terry said. “[Cocoa] was about halfway through the bag. So knowing that she had been eating that for a month now I just -- I couldn’t believe it.”
Terry reported it to Purina over the phone and on Facebook.
“They offered me coupons for discounted items. I told them to keep it,” Terry said. “It’s disgusting and I won’t ever go back to them.”
A Purina representative told First Coast News the “worms” are likely Indian Meal Moth larvae.
They released a statement which reads, in part:
“This is certainly not a typical experience with our products. We have been in contact with Mr. Terry and as a goodwill gesture, Purina will work with him to help make things right. In fact, a refund check is already on its way now.”
The statement continued:
“During production, all ingredients are subjected to high temperatures and pressures, which render them free of pathogens and insects. So in situations like this where infestation has occurred, it likely happened at some point after the products left the factory, possibly during distribution or storage.”
Terry, who stored Cocoa’s food in a sealed, plastic container, doesn’t buy it.
“These are embedded worms in the meat,” he said. “There’s no way they could’ve gotten in there after the fact.”
Terry has since switched Cocoa’s food. He encouraged pet owners to do their research before deciding what to feed their pets.
“Take the time and maybe spend a little extra money and make sure what they’re buying is a good quality product,” he said.
Terry said he notified the Petco near Atlantic and Kernan, where he bought the dog food, about what he found. A store manager told First Coast News staff went to the area where the food was stored, pulled out all the bags to inspect them and didn’t find anything else in those bags.
Purina’s statement in full, including tips for safe storage of dog food, is below:
“We sincerely regret anytime a pet owner has an unsatisfactory experience with our product. This is certainly not a typical experience with our products. We have been in contact with Mr. Terry and as a goodwill gesture, Purina will work with him to help make things right. In fact, a refund check is already on its way now.
It’s important to note that when we make our products at our facilities, we follow strict procedures to ensure that they are produced under stringent sanitation rules and manufacturing processes. During production, all ingredients are subjected to high temperatures and pressures, which render them free of pathogens and insects. So in situations like this where infestation has occurred, it likely happened at some point after the products left the factory, possibly during distribution or storage.
Unfortunately, insect infestation can occur in any food product in the marketplace. You can find more information about Indian Meal Moths and their larvae online.
While this type of infestation does not typically pose a health risk to pets or people, it obviously is an unpleasant experience for consumers, especially in a home setting. Where pet food is stored can make a big difference in both quality and freshness.
Here are a few tips on proper pet food storage:
• When shopping for pet food, make sure the food meets the “Best By” date on the package.
• Examine packaging before purchasing to ensure it hasn’t been compromised with a rip or hole.
• Remember, pet food is food. It should be stored in ways that are similar to how human food is stored.
• Store all pet food in a cool, dry location. It is not recommended to store food in the garage or outside since those locations often lead to insect infestation.
• It is best to store the food off the floor.
• When possible, store food in the original bag and within a plastic or metal bin with lid.
• Ideally, food should be consumed within 5-6 weeks from when opening the bag to ensure freshness.”