March 2, 2017 — A recall has been issued for all “chunk beef” canned dog food sold by Evanger’s and Against The Grain after a product tested positive for horse meat and the toxic drug pentobarbital.
The following products are being recalled:
- Evanger’s Hunk of Beef
- Evanger’s Braised Beef
- Against the Grain Pulled Beef
The contamination was discovered when four dogs owned by a woman in Washington all got sick within 15 minutes of eating Evanger’s “Hunk of Beef” dog food. One pug named Talulah died.
The woman kept the dog food and had it tested. It was positive for horse DNA and pentobarbital, a powerful sedative that is commonly used to euthanize horses, but rarely used on cows. The woman told local news KATU:
“They were falling over. So I grabbed them all and took them to the emergency vet. And when they got there, they were just limp. They weren’t moving or anything. And so they were in ICU. Tito and Talula ate the most and Talula passed away.”
One week later, the owners released a statement blaming the FDA for “allowing drugs like pentobarbital to enter the raw material stream” and their “USDA-inspected” meat supplier.
When the FDA inspected the supplier, it passed with flying colors. No warnings were issued and the FDA said the supplier had “systems in place to ensure that euthanized animals are segregated from animal protein going for animal food use.”
However, the FDA found major problems during inspections of Evanger’s facilities on January 10 and 11 and issued two “Form 483” warnings. they discovered that none of Evanger’s meat suppliers were actually registered with the USDA.
The FDA also described condensation dripping directly onto raw meat and into open cans of dog food, fly-like insects, mold on the walls throughout the facility, an open sewer within 25 feet of a food-processing trailer, open cans of dog food stored on wooden palettes in pools of standing water, and raw meat stored at room temperature.
A spokesperson for the FDA also said, “It is the responsibility of the pet food manufacturer to ensure that the food they produce is safe for consumption and properly labeled.”