Four dogs in Washington state became sick on New Year’s Eve after eating the food, and one died, the Wheeling, Illinois-based company said.
Tests on a deceased pug named Talula found the drug pentobarbital, a sedative, in the dog’s stomach. The owner’s other pugs were sick after consuming the food, but survived.
It’s the first recall in the company’s 82-year history.
Evanger’s has ended its relationship with a beef supplier and promised to guarantee the safety of its products in the future, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The pentobarbital was detected in one lot of Hunk of Beef Au Jus, and company officials are stumped on how it got there.
Pentobarbital can affect animals that ingest it by causing drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and death.
On the family-owned company’s website, a video has been posted in which members of the Sher family, which owns it, explain that pentobarbital can be found in other dry pet foods if they are made with euthanized cow meat.
“We were unaware of the problem of pentobarbital in the pet food industry because it is most pervasive in dry foods that source most of their ingredients from rendering plants, unlike Evanger’s, which mainly manufactures canned foods that would not have any rendered materials in its supply chain,” the owners said.
They added that once an animal has been euthanized there are no regulations requiring veterinarians to tag the meat as such, allowing the meat to find its way into the food chain.
Although only one lot was found to be affected, the company has recalled five lots, distributed to retail locations and sold online in Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. They were manufactured the week of June 6 – June 13, 2016, and have an expiration date of June 2020.
The recall applies to lot numbers starting with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, The second half of the barcode reads 20109, which can be found on the back of the product label.
Evanger’s says all of its meat suppliers are USDA approved, and that it is still investigating how the substance entered their raw material supply.
Consumers who still have cans with the lot numbers should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-847-537-0102 between 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Central Time, Monday – Friday.
Evanger’s has apologized on its website, promised transparency and posted several updates for customers.
“We are sorry we let you down, but we will make a better pet industry because of it,” Evanger’s owners wrote. “First and foremost we are pet parents,” they wrote.
The Sher family said they paid veterinary bills for the four pugs in Washington state and made a donation to a local animal shelter.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 9th, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apology, death, dog, dog food, dogs, drug, euthanasia, evangers, fda, health, hunk of beef, pentobarbital, pets, pug, recall, recalled, recalls, safety, sick, usda