Pet Food Recalled for Euthanasia Drug Contamination (Updated)

Evanger's pet food image from expanded US FDA recall.
Evanger's pet food image from expanded US FDA recall.

*Updated with expanded recall March 3, 2017.*

Evanger’s Pet Food and Against the Grain Voluntarily Recalls Additional Products Out of Abundance of Caution due to Potential Adulteration with Pentobarbital

Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily expanding its recall of Hunk of Beef and is also recalling Evanger’s Braised Beef and Against the Grain’s Pulled Beef Products due to potential adulteration with pentobarbital.  Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death. Consumers who notice these symptoms in their pets should consult their veterinarian.

Evanger’s wants 100% of its products to be 100% safe 100% of the time prompting removal of the products.

The 12 oz. cans of dog foods that are being voluntarily recalled have the following barcodes.  The numbers listed below are the second half of the barcode, which can be found on the back of the product label:

  • Evanger’s: Hunk of Beef: 20109
  • Evanger’s: Braised Beef: 20107
  • Against the Grain: Pulled Beef: 80001

The three products being voluntarily recalled were manufactured between December 2015 and January 2017, and have expiration dates of December 2019 through January 2021.  These products were distributed online and through independent boutique pet stores nationwide.

This voluntary recall affects only Hand Packed Beef Products, which is a unique method in which large chunks of meat are manually placed into the can by hand, not machine.

Consumers may return any can of the aforementioned products to their place of purchase for a full refund for the inconvenience.  For any questions, customers may contact the company at 847.537.0102, 10am-5pm (Central Time), Monday-Friday.

Distributors and online retailers were previously notified of this voluntary recall on February 27, 2017.

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Initial US FDA advisory and original recall notice(s) are below.

FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital

In a notice released February 17, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers not to feed their pets certain lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog food after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate.

Pentobarbital is a drug that is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food and its presence as detected by the FDA in these products renders them adulterated.

The FDA was unable to determine from available records whether any other Evanger’s or Against the Grain products made with beef contain any of the beef that went into the recalled products. Additionally, the agency concluded an inspection of the manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017, and noted numerous significant concerns with conditions found at both the Wheeling IL and Markham IL plants. These are initial observations and do not represent a final agency determination regarding the firm.

Following discussions with the FDA, Evanger’s initiated a voluntary recall on February 3, 2017, of certain lots of its 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned dog food: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, all with an expiration date of June 2020.

In the course of the investigation, the FDA tested two cans of Against the Grain brand canned Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier: these samples also tested positive for pentobarbital. On February 9, 2017, after conversations with the FDA, Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot 2415E01ATB12 BEST DEC 2019 of this product. The company issued a public notice about its recall on February 13, 2017. To date, the FDA is not aware of any pet illnesses associated with the Against the Grain product.

The FDA began investigating Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company Inc. when it learned about five dogs in a single household that suffered acute neurological symptoms shortly after eating the product. One dog was euthanized after secondary complications, and three others recovered after receiving veterinary care. One of the dogs treated remains on seizure medication, and the fifth dog that ate the least amount of food recovered with time.

The stomach contents of the deceased dog and an open can of the product were tested by an FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network lab, and unopened cans of the product from the pet owner and retailer that sold the products (from the same production lot), were tested by FDA’s lab. All of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital.

In its recent press release announcing a limited product recall, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. stated that the beef for its Hunk of Beef product came from a “USDA approved” supplier. However, the FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption” and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat products from this supplier do not bear the USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade. USDA-FSIS regulates slaughter of animals for human consumption only. Testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat used in the product was bovine (beef).

The investigation by the FDA is ongoing and includes examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine a possible cause for the presence of pentobarbital. The FDA is also coordinating with the USDA to address any possible areas of shared jurisdiction at the suppliers.

Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death. Consumers who notice these symptoms in their pets should consult their veterinarian.

Consumers with cans of product subject to the facilities’ voluntary recalls should refer to the firms’ respective press releases for information about returning the product.

Additional Links from FDA:

 

Original Recall Notices

Evanger’s Voluntarily Recalls Hunk of Beef Because Of Pentobarbital Exposure in one Batch of Food

Dated February 3, 2017

Evanger's pet food image from US FDA recall.
Evanger’s pet food image from US FDA recall.

Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food of Wheeling, IL is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product because of a potential contaminant Pentobarbital, which was detected in one lot of Hunk of Beef Au Jus. Pentobarbital can affect animals that ingest it, and possibly cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, or nausea, or in extreme cases, possibly death.

The specifically-identified lot numbers (as detailed below) of cans of 12-oz Hunk of Beef being voluntarily recalled were distributed to retail locations and sold online in the following States: Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and were manufactured the week of June 6 – June 13, 2016.

Although pentobarbital was detected in a single lot, Evangers is voluntarily recalling Hunk of Beef products that were manufactured the same week, with lot numbers that start with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020. The second half of the barcode reads 20109, which can be found on the back of the product label.

The subject recall affects 5 lots of food that were produced from its supplier’s lot of beef, which is specifically used for the Hunk of Beef product and no other products. To date, it has been reported that five dogs became ill and 1 of the five dogs passed away after consuming the product with lot number 1816E06HB13. Evanger’s is proactively issuing a recall voluntarily so as not to risk potential exposure to pentobarbital in the product.

All Evanger’s suppliers of meat products are USDA approved. This beef supplier provides us with beef chunks from cows that are slaughtered in a USDA facility. We continue to investigate how this substance entered our raw material supply.

Because we source from suppliers of meat products that are USDA approved, and no other products have had any reported problems, we are not extending the recall to other supplier lots. This is the first recall for Evanger’s in its 82 years of manufacturing. Although it has been verified that little or no product remains on store shelves, if consumers still have cans with the aforementioned lot numbers, he or she should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-847-537-0102 between 10am-5pm (Central Time), Monday-Friday.

Against The Grain Pet Food Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Pulled Beef Due to Potential Adulteration with Pentobarbital

Dated February 14, 2017

Against The Grain pet food image from US FDA recall.
Against The Grain pet food image from US FDA recall.

Out of an abundance of caution, Against the Grain Pet Food is voluntarily recalling one lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that was manufactured and distributed in 2015.

The 12 oz. Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that is being voluntarily recalled, due to the potential presence of pentobarbital, has an expiration date of December 2019, a lot number of 2415E01ATB12, and the second half of the UPC code is 80001 (which can be found on the back of the product label).

Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand and coma.

Note: To-date, no complaints have been reported to Against the Grain for this single lot number nor any of Against the Grain’s pet foods, since the company was founded.

In 2015, this one lot of product was distributed to independent pet retail stores in Washington and Maryland, though it has been verified that this lot is no longer on any store shelves. This voluntary recall only affects one specific lot of food.

Consumers may return any can with the aforementioned lot number, to their place of purchase and receive a full case of Against the Grain food for the inconvenience. For any questions, customers may contact the company at 708.566.4410 between 11am-4pm (Central Time), Monday-Friday.

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