Computer glitch closes Kroger stores for hours

CINCINNATI (AP) - A computer problem related to a nationwide recall of pet food hit about 1,000 Kroger Co. grocery stores in several regions, including the Memphis area, where many stores were closed for hours, the company said.

Kroger spokeswoman Lynn Marmer said Friday's glitch disrupted computer systems in stores in Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Tenn., and Little Rock, Ark., as well as Ohio stores in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton.

Some stores outside the Cincinnati area also closed, but Marmer said she did not know how many.

All stores had reopened by early Saturday, spokeswoman Meghan Glynn said.

Glynn said the system that rings up customers' purchases went down because the recall system Kroger uses was being upgraded at the same time another aspect of the pet food recall was announced.

Kroger said Friday it would suspend sales of all pet food manufactured by Menu Foods sold in pouches and cans - going beyond the company's products that have been recalled.

Rat poison found in pet food made by Menu Foods has been blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs.

The company has advised retailers to remove all brands of the "cuts and gravy" style food in cans and pouches from its shelves, although the recall applies only to those packaged from Dec. 3 through March 6.

Kroger's computer problem was fixed by 11 p.m. Friday, but some stores already were closed.

Marmer said it wasn't clear how much of an effect the computer glitch had on sales. "We apologize for any inconvenience to customers," Marmer said.

Kroger Co. operates 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states, under two dozen local banners that include Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's, Fry's, Dillons, QFC and City Market.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)