Posted: Jan. 24, 2014, 4:50 p.m. EST
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. and Del Monte Foods Corp. are reintroducing Waggin’ Train and Milo’s Kitchen selections more than a year after being stung by the discover of trace amounts of unapproved antibiotics in some of their pet jerky treats.
The antibiotics originated in chicken processed in China, where Nestlé Purina will continue to source some meat under strict quality controls.
Both on its website and in a video featuring brand president Nina Leigh, St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina revealed the February debut of three Waggin’ Train treats in new packaging: Smoky Jerky Snacks, Jerky Duos and Chicken Jerky Tenders.
Smoky Jerky Snacks and Jerky Duos will contain chicken produced by "a single, trusted supplier” in the United States, the company reported. Chicken Jerky Tenders will use "100 percent real white meat chicken sourced exclusively from a single, trusted supplier in China,” the company added.
Nina Leigh discusses the rollout of Waggin’ Train treats in a video posted on the brand’s website.
"Dark meat chicken is culturally preferred in China, so we have a readily available supply of high-quality white meat chicken for our dog treats,” the Waggin’ Train website stated.
The use of single suppliers "means we have greater control over how the chickens are raised, fed and processed,” Leigh said in the video, addressing pet owners.
She also promised "strict quality controls from egg to finished treat.”
"We’ve worked hard to put in place the highest quality controls in the dog treats industry so you can be confident in the quality of our treats,” Leigh noted.
Del Monte, based in San Francisco, is preparing for the March launch of Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky Strips and Chicken Grillers Recipe treats, NBC News reported. The treats will contain U.S.-sourced chicken, the network added.
A Del Monte spokesman could not be reached to comment.
The news of the product reintroductions came nearly 13 months after Waggin’ Train and Milo’s Kitchen jerky was pulled
from store shelves because of the antibiotic discovery. No pets are known to have been sickened by the treats.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October updated
the public on the agency’s six-year investigation into a possible connection between jerky treats and pet illnesses. Complaints about Chinese-made jerky killing nearly 600 dogs and sickening thousands more have been leveled since 2007.
The FDA admitted that its investigators could not conclude that jerky treats were to blame in any of the cases and called the episode "one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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