Dog Food Tainted with Barbiturate Subject of Recall

The Illinois-based Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co. issued a recall on February 3, 2017, for five lots of its Hunk of Beef Au Jus dog food after one lot of the product was found to be contaminated with the barbiturate, pentobarbital, that has sickened five dogs and led to the death of one dog.

The lot that contained the contaminated dog food was sold from June 6 through June 13, 2016, in 15 states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin. Although only the one lot has been identified to have been partially contaminated, Evanger’s, citing its use of “an abundance of caution” issued a recall for five lots of its Hunk of Beef product.

The recalled Hunk of Beef products was sold in 12-ounce cans, all with an expiration date of June 2020, meaning that even though the products may have been purchased in 2016, there is a potential that cans of the recalled canned dog food are still on consumers’ shelves.

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef cans with the following beginning bar codes are part of the recalled dog food: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB. The last five numbers on each of these barcodes are 20109.

July 9, 2017 Related News: Additional Brands of Evanger’s Pet Foods Recalled

Consumers who find any of the recalled Hunk of Beef product included in the recall on their shelves are advised to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, according to Evanger’s recall notice.

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate used in sedation of both animals and humans, as well as being used, unofficially, to euthanize animals. The Evanger’s company explained that in general, it is dry food products for animals that have a risk of pentobarbital contamination due to the use of rendered food materials in its composition. Evanger’s theorizes that although it sources its meats from only USDA-approved sources and does not use any rendered animal material in its canned pet foods, that a veterinarian euthanized animal found its way into a supplier’s beef that was then used in at least some of the Hunk of Beef cans of dog food.

Interestingly, a euthanized animal does not have to be marked or tagged in any way to prevent its meat and by-products to prevent it from being used in the food chain of animals or humans.

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