FDA Confirms Pentobarbital in Dog Food

Pet owners warned to avoid certain Evanger’s and Against the Grain dog food

Against the Grain
Against the Grain

FDA is advising pet owners and pet caretakers not to feed their pets with certain lots of Evanger’s and Against the Grain dog food after confirming the presence of the euthanasia agent pentobarbital in both products.

Following discussions with FDA, Evanger’s announced a voluntary recall on February 3, 2017 of  five lots of its 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned dog food, all with an expiration date of June 2020: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB. On February 9th, Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot #2415E01ATB12 BEST DEC 2019 of its Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food after the agency detected pentobarbital that product. The Pulled Beef with Gravy was manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier.

Evanger's Hunks of BeefIn addition to the presence of pentobarbital, FDA reports a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of ‘Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit for Human Consumption’. This is despite Evanger’s claim that the beef in its Hunk of Beef product came from a ‘USDA approved’ supplier. FDA also has determined that the supplier’s facility does NOT have a grant of inspection from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat from the supplier does not bear a USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade. Lab testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat in the product was beef.

Other issues cited in a preliminary investigation report (FDA Form 483) released today by FDA include evidence of unsanitary conditions, inadequate refrigeration, improper storage, and inadequate control of ambient temperature during hand-packing operations at Evanger’s Wheeling, IL facility and unsanitary conditions and ‘avian activity’ at its Markham, IL manufacturing location.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing and will include examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine the source of the pentobarbital. The agency is also coordinating with USDA to address possible areas of shared jurisdiction.

Consumers with cans of the recalled product should refer to the Evanger’s and Against the Grain recall notices for information on returning the product.

This article first appeared on Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission.