Food Safety News has reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed the presence of the euthanasia agent pentobarbital in certain lots of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef product and in certain lots of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy. Both the Evanger’s and Against the Grain product were manufactured in the same facility using beef from the same supplier. FMI – http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/02/fda-confirms-euthanasia-agent-pentobarbital-in-dog-food/#.WKg6j28rI-U
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Green Acres Kennel Shop is concerned about the health of all pets, which is why we post information about pet food recalls on both my blog (www.words-woofs-meows.com) and our various Facebook pages. If a pet food we sell happens to be recalled, we do our best to contact purchasers directly, either via email or phone.
In the past two weeks I have posted information about five recalls of canned pet food products from; Against the Grain, Blue Buffalo, Evanger’s, Pet Smart, and Wellness. If you wish to read about a specific recall, click on the name of the company in the previous sentence.
These five recalls have affected both dog and cat food. In some cases, only one product has been recalled, and in some cases, it has been as many as seven. In all cases, the recalls have been voluntary. I thank the companies that own those brands for erring on the side of safety and issuing voluntary recalls.
There seem to be two underlying concerns in all five of these recalls; 1) potential contamination with pentobarbital, a drug used for euthanasia as well as other purposes, and 2) potential contamination with a foreign material, such as metal fragments.
Why have there been so many recalls, by so many companies, in such a short period? Most consumers are not aware of the fact that most pet food companies do not manufacture the canned pet food they sell, even if they do own plants that produce their dry food. Trying to track down the number of companies that actually produce canned pet food is not easy as most pet food companies are hesitant to admit they do not make the food they sell. However, it is my understanding that there are only four to five canning companies that make ALL of the canned pet food sold in the USA.
In some cases, the companies making canned pet food (Evanger’s and Merrick) manufacture it for themselves as well as others. Other companies do not sell canned pet food, but only manufacture it for others. Since we have two fundamental issues here; contamination with pentobarbital and a foreign material, I suspect that although these recalls span five pet food companies, they are probably directly related to two manufacturers.
So what can you do to avoid feeding your pet food that may be recalled? You have two choices; 1) become and remain knowledgeable about the food that you are feeding your pets, or 2) buy your food from a business that you know will keep up to date on the pet food industry and will do their part to keep you informed. The pet food industry, the companies that are part of it, and the individual foods are constantly changing. That is why Green Acres’ is constantly monitoring the manufacturers that make the foods we sell and the distributors that get them to us. We train our staff and provide information to clients and others through this blog, our FaceBook pages, our email newsletter, seminars at the store, and our radio show The Woof Meow Show.
Is there a company making pet food that will never have their products recalled? I doubt it. Just like with human food, companies that make and process food are dealing with a perishable product. Accidents will happen, honest mistakes will be made, and unscrupulous companies may intentionally use less than ideal ingredients because their bottom line is more important than the health of your pet. That is one reason I prefer to feed my pets food that is manufactured by the company that sells the food. I also prefer small family owned pet food companies that are focused solely on pet food. These companies are, in my experience, more likely to be committed to quality and the health of our pets.
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