Costco: No pet illnesses associated with jerky treat suppliers

The FDA has been investigating the jerky treat question since 2007. In its most recent public warning, investigators urge pet owners and vets to alert the FDA if pets get sick after eating one of the jerky treats.

There is no recall, but vets are asked to spread the word to pet owners.

The focus is on various jerky treats made in China, because that seems to be the one common link in the 3,600 illnesses and 580 pet deaths reported to the FDA over the last 6 years. The latest FDA alert last week prompted some local chains and independents pet stores to pulling treats made in China -- as a precaution.

But some local consumers were surprised to see the products still for sale at Costco.

Costco says the FDA actually releases annual jerky treat announcements to the industry. According to Vice President Craig Wilson, Costco double-tests every shipment of jerky treats that comes into the store both in China, and here in the US, and also makes trips to China twice a year to do more testing in the plants.

"We test for all microbial and chemical adulterants, along with any unapproved antibiotic use," Wilson wrote in a recent notice to warehouse managers regarding chicken and duck pet treats from China. "Again, every lot is tested."

Wilson's notice goes on to say FDA has determined that no illnesses have been associated with the Chinese facilities that supply Costco stores. Wilson says Costco even requires it's jerky supplier to post the test results on the supplier's website, so consumers can review the results for themselves.

A call to Petco reveal they also still offer jerky treats, including some options made in America. It's important to note there are numerous Chinese companies making the treats under numerous brand names. No single jerky treat supplier has been named in the FDA investigation, and no root cause for pet illnesses has been confirmed-which is why the FDA wants to hear from you if your pet gets sick after eating any jerky treat.