UPDATE: On March 3, 2017, Evanger's expanded this recall to include 12-ounce cans of Braised Beef Chunks and Against the Grain’s Pulled Beef, with the bar codes 20107 and 80001, respectively. The food was manufactured between December 2015 and January 2017, and has expiration dates of December 2019 through January 2021.
Dog owners, check your pup’s food: Two pet food brands have issued voluntary recalls. On February 3, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. recalled five lots of 12-oz. Hunk of Beef, the brand’s #1 seller, due to a possible presence of pentobarbital, a sedative often used to euthanize animals. And yesterday, February 15, Against the Grain Pet Food Inc. recalled one lot of Pulled Beef With Gravy Dinner for the same concern.
After consuming an Evanger’s product manufactured the week of June 6-June 13, 2016, with lot number 1816E06HB13, five dogs became ill, and one passed away. Evanger’s voluntarily recalled the contaminated lot, as well as the four other lots manufactured that week. These include 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and expire June 2020. The second half of the barcode, which can be found on the back of the product, reads 20109.
The Against the Grain recall involves just one lot, 2415E01ATB12, which was distributed in 2015 and has an expiration date of December 2019. No complaints have been made about this particular food; however, Against the Grain may share manufacturing facilities and ingredients with Evanger’s, according to Food Safety News.
The dangers of the potential contaminate are frightening. Pentobarbital can cause side effects such as "drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, or nausea, or in extreme cases, possibly death,” according to the Evanger’s recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website. Though it is unclear how the sedative ended up in the Hunk of Beef product, an investigation conducted by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine in 2002 found that the most likely way pentobarbital could get into dog food would be in rendered animal products. However, Evanger's primarily manufactures canned foods, and it is dry dog foods that are more likely to use these animal products.
Both companies are offering full refunds to customers who have cans with the aforementioned lot numbers. Consumers with questions can contact Evanger's at 1-847-537-0102, and Against the Grain at 708-566-4410.