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Pet food seized at PETCO warehouse

/ Source: The Associated Press

Federal marshals carrying a search warrant visited the Joliet distribution center of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc. on Thursday, seizing animal food products that were allegedly contaminated.

The seizure came one day after the government filed a lawsuit and obtained the warrant to seize products at the warehouse operated by the San Diego-based animal food and supply company.

There were no known public health risks posed by the pet food and no incidents of human or animal illness have been traced to the products, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other officials said in a statement issued by his office.

Since the government’s last inspection, PETCO has “acted aggressively to address each and every concern that was raised,” said Kevin Whalen, PETCO vice president of corporate communications.

The company is “committed” to fully complying with recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration, and continues to discuss any ongoing concerns with them, Whalen said

The lawsuit alleges that food stored at the warehouse, unless kept in glass or metal containers, is subject to condemnation because it was stored under conditions that allegedly were unsanitary.

The FDA inspected the warehouse in April and found live and dead rodents and birds on or around the pet food containers, according to the lawsuit.

Rodent and bird droppings were found throughout the warehouse, the lawsuit said. Inspectors found holes in the walls of the warehouse that allowed birds and rodents to enter.

An inspection in May produced a similar finding, the government said.

The warehouse supplies pet food to stores in Illinois, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, the government said in a statement issued by Fitzgerald’s office.