In light of all the recent dog food recall alerts released by Diamond Pet Foods, dog owners must be wondering how a company that touts their use of premium ingredients and the highest quality standards ended up in this position. While assessing the Diamond recall situation, it is important for us to take a step back and look at the whole picture of pet food manufacturing.
Back when the natural and organic pet food paradigm shift occurred in 2007/2008 in the pet industry, the focus - from consumers and manufacturers alike - was 100% on the quality of the ingredients used. But that is only half of the equation when it comes the commercial pet food industry. The other part of the equation is the production processes in place to create pet foods.
A company can use the best all natural or certified organic ingredients available, but if their production process is still below par, then quite honestly, the quality of ingredients doesn't matter so much. The point is that an organic ingredient and a conventional ingredient are both equally susceptible to contamination if processed by the same production method.
This conversation applies mostly to the big pet food companies that are extensions of the dominating food conglomerates. As John Sibley points out in this recent blog post, there is a whole underworld of pet food production that is not revealed to the average consumer. It involves contract manufacturers whose interests lie primarily in profits as opposed to quality. Basically for you, the consumer, this means what you see isn't always what you get.
Transparency in the pet food industry, and food industry, in general has been discussed at length as consumers demand more information about the foods they feed their pets. Our production process for our organic dog treats is vastly different and definitely on a smaller scale than large pet food companies, but that doesn't mean we take safety any less seriously.
We have spoken a lot about the high quality of the certified organic ingredients that go into our dog treats, but how are we any different than the big box companies if we fail to talk to our consumers about our production process? These things are true about how we create The Organic Hound Co. dog treats:
– We bake in small batches, which means about 400-500 treats per batch. That is typically enough to fill one case of our treats.
– Our shelf life, under normal storage conditions, is absolutely accurate. We conducted many tests to ensure that our treats will stay fresh for at least a year.
– Every ingredient we use and box of treats we package is carefully monitored through our lot number tracking system.
– The processing and packaging of our treats is done by hand, not machine. This means we inspect every single treat that get packaged and put on the shelf.
How is that for quality control?