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FDA confirms euthanasia agent pentobarbital in dog food

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

recalled Evangers dog food labelThe Food and Drug Administration 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 Feb. 3 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.

At least five dogs became ill after eating the Evanger’s food. One of them died.

On Feb. 9 Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot number 2415E01ATB12, BEST DEC 2019, of its Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food after the FDA detected pentobarbital in it. The Pulled Beef with Gravy was manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier.

In 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 of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat in the product was beef.

Other issues cited in a preliminary investigation report, an FDA Form 483, released today by FDA included 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 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.

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