A popular pet food company has issued a recall on its canned beef dog food after a euthanasia drug was found in the meat supply. Evanger's has issued a voluntary recall of some of its canned dog food after it was found to be contaminated with a drug used to anesthetize or euthanize animals.
After 5 dogs became ill, and one died after consuming the food, examinations were conducted. Eventually, it was discovered that the drug Pentobarbital was found in the stomach contents of one of the dogs.
The recall is effective in the following states:
- New York
- South Carolina
This recall applies to cans which were manufactured the week of June 6 – June 13, 2016. Lot numbers being recalled are those beginning with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB and 1816E13HB and expire June 2020. The second half of the barcode on the back of the label will read 20109.
The dog who died consumed food from the 1816E06HB13 lot.
The company, based in Wheeling, Ill., learned of the sick dogs on New Year’s Eve. They immediately launched an investigation and began testing for all known toxins and bacteria. Everything came back negative, until on January 29th, when the pentobarbital was discovered.
Evanger’s was very surprised by this, as pentobarbital is typically only found in dry dog foods which source the bulk of their ingredients from rendering plants. Evanger’s canned foods were not supposed to contain any materials which were rendered.
According to the company's recall page, all Evanger’s meat suppliers are U.S.D.A-approved. Research into pentobarbital conducted by Evanger's revealed that the drug is very highly controlled. If an animal (such as a cow) is euthanized, it is only done by a veterinarian.
However, there is no law or regulation requiring veterinarians or personnel to mark or indicate the animal as having been euthanized. Therefore, it is not guaranteed that an animal who has been euthanized with this drug won’t make it into food chain supplies.
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In a statement issued on the recall page, Evanger’s stated that they feel let down by their supplier, whom they have done business with for about 40 years (and who does business with many other pet food companies). Despite their long-standing relationship, Evanger’s decided to terminate ties with the supplier.
The statement assures the public that this supplier’s meat was not used in any other Evanger’s products.
More information on pentobarbital contained in dog foods can be found on the FDA's website. This is the company’s first recall in their 82 years of manufacturing pet food products.
Veterinarians are advising dog owners to take this recall seriously. Symptoms of pentobarbital ingestion include:
- loss of balance
…and even death. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog and you have fed him this food recently, contact your veterinarian immediately. If you have any questions for Evanger’s about this product or recall, you can call them Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Central), at (847)-537-0102.
The company is paying the ill dogs' vet bills as well as donating to a local shelter in order to honor the pet that passed away, Talula the Pug.