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Author Topic: Against The Grain dog food also recalled for barbiturate contamination  (Read 1328 times)
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« on: February 21, 2017, 06:11:53 AM »

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More dog food recalled for possible barbiturate contamination
A second dog food recall — this time by Against the Grain Pet Food Inc. — because of the barbiturate pentobarbital is underway in the wake of a recall of Evanger’s branded dog food, and it appears members of the same family own both companies.

Pentobarbital is a sedative often used to euthanize animals.

recalled Against the Grain dog foodNo adverse reactions to the Against the Grain brand “Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs” had been reported as of the posting of that brand’s recall late Tuesday afternoon.

However, five dogs were sickened and one died in January after eating “Hunk of Beef Au Jus” canned dog food from Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co. Inc.

The Against the Grain dog food recall involves only one flavor and one lot of the pulled beef canned food. Consumers can identify the recalled 12-ounce Against the Grain canned dog food by looking for an expiration date of December 2019 and lot number of 2415E01ATB12. The recalled Against the Grain food also has a UPC number ending with 80001.

“In 2015, this one lot of product was distributed to independent pet retail stores in Washington and Maryland, though it has been verified that this lot is no longer on any store shelves,” according to the Against the Grain recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website.

“Consumers may return any can with the aforementioned lot number, to their place of purchase and receive a full case of Against the Grain food for the inconvenience. For any questions, customers may contact the company at 800-288-6796.”

Anyone who has fed the recalled dog food to their pets and noticed unusual behavior should seek the advice of a veterinarian and mention the possible exposure to the drug residue.

Eating food contaminated with pentobarbital can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea nystagmus (with) eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner, inability to stand and coma, according to the recall notice.

The Against the Grain recall does not mention the Feb. 3 Evanger’s recall, and the Evanger’s recall notice did not indicate any other brands were implicated.

However, the companies’ operations appear to be somewhat cooperative and they may share manufacturing facilities and ingredients. Evanger’s is owned by Holly and Joel Sher, whose daughter Chelsea Sher serves as vice president for exports at Evanger’s.

Chelsea Sher is listed as the owner of the Against the Grain trademark. She co-founded Against the Grain with her twin brother Brett in 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile. She and Brett posted a video on YouTube explaining the Evanger’s recall.

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Tags: Against the Grain, barbiturate, Chelsea Sher, dog food recall, Evanger's Dog & Cat Food, FDA, FDA warning letters, Joel Sher, Pentobarbitol, pet food recallAgainst
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 04:52:24 PM »

FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital

February 17, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers not to feed their pets certain lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog food after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate.

Pentobarbital is a drug that is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food and its presence as detected by the FDA in these products renders them adulterated.

The FDA was unable to determine from available records whether any other Evanger’s or Against the Grain products made with beef contain any of the beef that went into the recalled products. Additionally, the agency concluded an inspection of the manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017, and noted numerous significant concerns with conditions found at both the Wheeling, IL and Markham, IL plants. These are initial observations and do not represent a final agency determination regarding the firm.

Following discussions with the FDA, Evanger’s initiated a voluntary recall on February 3, 2017, of certain lots of its 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned dog food: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, all with an expiration date of June 2020.

In the course of the investigation, the FDA tested two cans of Against the Grain brand canned Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier: these samples also tested positive for pentobarbital. On February 9, 2017, after conversations with the FDA, Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot 2415E01ATB12 BEST DEC 2019 of this product. The company issued a public notice about its recall on February 13, 2017. To date, the FDA is not aware of any pet illnesses associated with the Against the Grain product.

The FDA began investigating Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company Inc. when it learned about five dogs in a single household that suffered acute neurological symptoms shortly after eating the product. One dog was euthanized after secondary complications, and three others recovered after receiving veterinary care. One of the dogs treated remains on seizure medication, and the fifth dog that ate the least amount of food recovered with time.

The stomach contents of the deceased dog and an open can of the product were tested by an FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network lab, and unopened cans of the product from the pet owner and retailer that sold the products (from the same production lot), were tested by FDA’s lab. All of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital.

In its recent press release announcing a limited product recall, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. stated that the beef for its Hunk of Beef product came from a “USDA approved” supplier. However, the FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef - For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption" and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat products from this supplier do not bear the USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade. USDA-FSIS regulates slaughter of animals for human consumption only. Testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat used in the product was bovine (beef).

The investigation by the FDA is ongoing and includes examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine a possible cause for the presence of pentobarbital. The FDA is also coordinating with the USDA to address any possible areas of shared jurisdiction at the suppliers.

Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death. Consumers who notice these symptoms in their pets should consult their veterinarian.

Consumers with cans of product subject to the facilities' voluntary recalls should refer to the firms’ respective press releases for information about returning the product.
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 09:48:36 AM »

Just alarming, that's all.  Here is more from Susan Thixton's latest email to me.  And after reading her article.......

So it looks like NO ONE is in charge of checking the safety of meat put in our pet food!!!

It is up to the salvage people who collect the dead carcasses to check, and to the manufacturer of the pet food, and that's it. 
Hence,   phenobarbital in the meat!!
I knew things were bad, but thought someone, somewhere was supposed to check the safety of the food.  Silly me.

The FDA has provided pet food consumers with another update to the Evanger’s Pet Food investigation. Some very interesting information.
It is very long, but it says this:

Who is responsible for ensuring that pet food is safe? What regulations apply in this arena?

Pet food manufacturers are responsible for taking appropriate steps to ensure that the food they produce is safe for consumption and properly labeled.....
It is the responsibility of the salvage facility collecting these animals to determine how they died and to separate those animals appropriately. Pentobarbital residues are not affected by rendering or canning temperatures and pressures (such as heat treatments capable of killing pathogenic organisms), and therefore animals euthanized with a chemical substance such as pentobarbital cannot be used in the manufacture of pet foods.

What is the old saying, "The fox is guarding the henhouse"!!

I realize this has been reported, but I find this very alarming, I thought the FDA used to test
(at least a little bit).  guess I was wrong.

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