Nutro Pet Food Recall History

Has Nutro Ever Been Recalled?

Yes, Nutro has been recalled multiple times for many different reasons. The most recent recall was issued because of a potential mold problem. Prior to this recall, Nutro has been recalled for incorrect levels of zinc and potassium, plastic pieces found in food, and melamine contamination.

In 1926, John Saleen purchased a dog food company from a British businessman. After the purchase, Saleen changed the company name to Nutro Products. The company was sold in 1976 to another buyer who expanded Nutro's market reach across the United States.

In 2007, Nutro Products was acquired by Mars, Incorporated. Mars is one of the leading pet food companies in the world. Here are some of the other brands owned by Mars: Royal Canin, Pedigree, Iams, Eukanuba, Sheba, Whiskas, Temptations, Cesar, and others.

Mars, Incorporated also operates businesses outside of the pet food industry. For example, Mars owns many of the most popular confectionery brands (Snickers, Skittles, M&M's, etc) and the largest veterinary chain in the United States (Banfield Pet Hospitals). They employ roughly 80,000 people and generate about $35 billion in annual revenue.

List of Nutro Recalls

December 13, 2015

PetSmart announced a market withdrawal of Nutro dog treats due to potential mold. The recall only includes the following product: Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 ounce packages.

Here are the identifying details for the product included in this recall:

  • Name: Nutro Chewy Treats Apple (4 oz)
  • PetSmart SKU: 5229600
  • Product UPC: 7910511344
  • Lot Codes: Beginning with ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, OR ‘5 05’

From the recall report, it appears that the recall is isolated to products sold by PetSmart and matching the description provided.

September 30, 2009

Mars Petcare issued a recall for select varieties of dry dog food and dry cat food. Here is an except from the original press release:

Small pieces of melted plastic were recently found in the production line of select varieties of NUTRO® dry dog and cat food products. We immediately retrieved the affected pet food from our distributors, and only three SKUs reached retail stores. These were delivered to a small number of PetSmart and Petco stores. The specific products are listed below.

Here are the identifying details for products included in this Nutro recall:

  • Nutro Ultra Puppy Food For Dogs (4.5 lbs): UPC# 79105 51313. Best By Date: 09/10/10
  • Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Meal, Rice and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites Puppy (5 lbs): UPC# 79105 23050. Best By Date: 09/10/10
  • Nutro Ultra Puppy Food For Dogs (30 lbs): UPC# 79105 51315. Best By Date: 09/10/10

Nutro believes that the source of the melted plastic is a worker's "bump cap." The cap inadvertently made its way into the manufacturing process and into the puppy foods.

May 21, 2009

Nutro issued a voluntary recall for select varieties of Nutro cat foods. The recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in the cat food. According to Nutro, this error is due to a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Nutro has not received any customer complaints relating to this issue, but cat owners should monitor for the following symptoms: reduction of food, refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The affected products are Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Dry Cat Foods and Nutro Max Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010.

March, 2007

Nutro pet foods were included in a nationwide recall initiated by Menu Foods. At the time, Menu Foods manufactured multiple varieties of Nutro products. The recalls were due to contaminated ingredients imported from China in 2006 and early 2007. These contaminated ingredients were used in the production of several Nutro pet food products.

The specific issue was later determined to be wheat gluten contaminated with melamine. The first recall issued by Menu Foods occurred on March 16, 2007. Throughout the year, a series of recall expansions were issued by Menu Foods to include more than 50 brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food.

Where is Nutro Made?

Nutro pet foods are manufactured in the United States within facilities owned by Nutro Products. The three facilities used to manufacture Nutro are located in California, Tennessee, and South Dakota. Unlike other brands owned by Mars, Nutro is never manufactured outside of the USA.

The Nutro brand website does not provide any useful information regarding the origin of ingredients used. We do not know if ingredients are sourced domestically or internationally. We also do not know if ingredients are sourced from China which was the source of the 2007 melamine recall.

Is Nutro Pet Food Safe?

The most serious recall in Nutro's history occurred in 2007. Nutro was one of the many brands manufactured by a company called Menu Foods. In 2007, Menu Foods recalled more than 50 different brands of dog food and 40 different brands of cat food. The recalled products contained vegetable protein contaminated with melamine. These ingredients were sourced from suppliers in China.

It is estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs and cats died because of the contamination. Given the unfortunate series of events that occurred in 2007, we'd like more certainty regarding the ingredients used in Nutro.

Unfortunately, we were not able to find any concrete information regarding the origin of ingredients used in Nutro's current recipes. Thus, we are still concerned about the quality and integrity of ingredients used inside Nutro dog foods and cat foods.

Outside of the 2007 Nutro recall, the other Nutro recalls appear to be relatively minor issues.

On a final note, Nutro is one of the highest-quality brands in the Mars Petcare portfolio. Unlike many other Mars Petcare brands, Nutro does not contain any GMO ingredients, artificial preservatives, or artificial colors.