U.S. Marshals have today seized various pet products stored under what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called "unsanitary conditions" at PETCO's Animal Supplies Distribution Center in Joliet, Illinois.
That distribution facility provides pet food products and supplies to PETCO retail stores in 16 states throughout the Midwest.
Acting under a warrant issued by the Federal District Court in Chicago, U.S. marshals seized all FDA-regulated animal food susceptible to rodent and pest contamination, the FDA announced.
The action comes on the heels of an FDA inspection in April that uncovered widespread and active rodent and bird infestation at the distribution center.
The FDA inspected the facility again in May and found continuing infestation.
"We simply will not allow a company to store foods under filthy and unsanitary conditions that occur as a direct result of the company's failure to adequately control and prevent pests in its facility," said the FDA's Margaret O'K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
"Consumers expect that such safeguards will be in place not only for human food, but for pet food as well," she said.
The products seized violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they were held under unsanitary conditions, according a case filed by the United States Attorney.
The FDA said it had no reports of pet illnesses or deaths associated with food from PETCO's facility. It also said it has no evidence that the food is unsafe for animals.
The products seized, however, were in permeable packages and held under conditions that could affect the food's integrity and quality, FDA officials warned.
As a precaution, the FDA recommends that consumers who handled any PETCO products from the distribution center thoroughly wash their hands with hot water and soap.
FDA officials also said any surfaces that came in contact with packages from the PETCO facility should be washed, too.
Consumers are further advised to thoroughly wash products sold in cans and glass containers from PETCO stores in the 16 affected states, which include Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
ConsumerAffairs.com contacted PETCO on Thursday. The company has not returned our call.
Pet owners should contact their veterinarian and report any illnesses to the FDA if their dogs or cats become sick after eating food from PETCO's distribution center