Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food on March 4 announced a voluntary expansion of its earlier dog food recalls due to potential adulteration with pentobarbital.

recalled Evangers and Against the Grain dog foodThe expansion of the company’s February 3rd recall of five production lots of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef canned dog food and its February 14th recall of one production lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef canned dog food is being carried out ‘Out of an abundance of caution,’ according to today’s announcement.

Evanger’s first advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA)  of its intention to expand the product recall on February 20,2017 and announced the planned recall in a letter to its distributors and retailers on February 28, 2017.

The recall encompasses all 12-oz. cans of the following hand-packed products manufactured between December 2015 and January 2017 and bearing expiration dates of December 2019 through January 2021. The numbers listed below represent the second half of the barcode for each product.

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

The recalled products were distributed online and through independent boutique pet stores nationwide.

FDA  initiated an investigation of Evanger’s manufacturing facilities in early last January, after receiving word that a dog had died and four other dogs had been sickened following ingesting food from a can of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef.

Lab testing revealed the presence of pentobarbital, a euthanasia agent, in the stomach contents of the dead dog, in the remnants of food from the opened can, and in food from unopened cans of the same production lot of Hunk of Beef obtained from the owner of the dogs and from the retailer. Additional lab testing, carried out by FDA, detected pentobarbital in a can of Against the Grain Pulled Beef canned dog food.

Against the Grain Pulled Beef is manufactured by Evanger’s.

In an advisory to consumers, released on February 17 and updated on March 3, FDA reported that a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier, which the pet food manufacturer had claimed was “USDA approved”, referred to “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption.”

Investigation of a certificate number displayed on the bill of lading determined that it referred to an export certification number that had been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). The certification, according to a spokesperson with USDA-APHIS, had expired in the mid 2000s.

FDA has received ten additional complaints from consumers who believe their dogs have been affected adversely after consuming by Evanger’s Hunk of Beef dog food. Five of the complaints mention symptoms that are consistent with possible pentobarbital poisoning. The agency is following up on four of the complaints, which provided veterinary and product lot number identification.

FDA continues to encourage consumers to report problems with Evanger’s products through the Safety Reporting Portal or by contacting a Consumer Complaint Coordinator. Empty cans or partially used cans of food to facilitate collection of specific lot number information may be retained.  Additional information is available on the FDA web page, “How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.