Kasel Associates Industries, subject of smell complaints, recalls more pet treats

Back in December, we told you about a group of neighbors in RiNo who have been raising a stink over what they say are "putrid" smells coming from a pet treat factory called Kasel Associates Industries. The same month that the factory's owner sued the neighbors for harassment, batches of his products were recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. Now, the recall has been expanded to include all products made between April 20 and September 19, 2012.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the expanded recall yesterday. It includes more than 65 products -- including smoked and roasted pig ears, pig snouts, buffalo hearts and many types of jerky -- that were sold under labels such as Boots & Barkley, BIXBI and Nutri-Vet at stores including Target, Petco and Sam's Club.

Here are more details, courtesy of the FDA:

The move comes after the Colorado Department of Agriculture tested a retail sample of a Kasel pet treat product and found it to be positive for Salmonella. Based on FDA's follow-up inspection at the firm, FDA found that all of the finished pet treat product samples and 48 out of 87 environmental samples collected during the inspection tested positive for Salmonella. More than ten different species of Salmonella were found in the firm's products and manufacturing facility, indicating multiple sources of contamination.

While there are no reports of human illness, FDA has received a small number of complaints of illness in dogs who were exposed to the treats. Because of the multiple positive tests for Salmonella, and the production practices and conditions observed at the facility during the inspection, FDA believes that there is a reasonable probability that pet treat products manufactured in the facility from April 20, 2012 through September 19, 2012 are contaminated with Salmonella.

Factory owner Ray Kasel issued the following statement through a spokeswoman:

People and pet safety are our number one priority.

In September 2012, we received positive test results for salmonella. All corrective measures were implemented immediately and we participated in a voluntary recall.

To further ensure that all of our products are safe, every batch of product leaving our facility is tested prior to shipping by independent outside labs.

In November 2012 our plant was inspected and reviewed by third party auditors. We scored 98.8 percent as a human grade facility.

Spokeswoman Wendy Aiello says the factory is currently making pet treats. We previously reported that after the initial recall in September, Kasel stopped production and made efforts to clean up the factory. According to the state Department of Agriculture, Kasel resumed production on October 8, and inspectors visited the next day to test the products being made, which included chicken jerky and pig-ear dog treats. No salmonella was detected, Steve Bornmann, the director of the inspection division, told us.

After neighbors complained to the city that Kasel's factory emitted a bad odor, he was cited for violating Denver's air-pollution ordinance and fined $500. In response, he sued the city in federal court for conspiring against him, harassing him and violating his constitutional property rights. Also named in the lawsuit are three employees of the Department of Environmental Health, including manager and former city councilman Doug Linkhart; three complaining neighbors; city councilwoman Judy Montero; and Montero's former assistant, Stephanie Syner, whom Kasel accuses of drumming up the complaints.

The city and the neighbors have since asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for March 5 at 2 p.m. Stay tuned for updates.

And for the full story, read our feature, "Raising A Stink."

More from our Follow That Story archive: "'Smells like dead animals' and other complaints made about a pet treat factory in RiNo."

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