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Evanger’s Pet Food Recall

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  1. foodguy

    I spoke with an Evanger’s rep directly about this on Monday and was assured- more than any manufacturer has ever assured me- that the story essentially had no merit. And 5 days later they announce a voluntary recall.

    1. Eve

      YEP what did you expect. They WILL deceive us why hurt their piggy bank

    2. bumpsnwarts

      Don’t know if you spoke with rep (Evanger’s son) or Joel – Asst CEO to wife CEO! They were LYING to you ..Been there – pls see my post below!

      1. Melinda Willette

        Don’t know if you spoke with Rep, Son of Evanger’s Asst Ceo and CEO – They all LIE!

    3. Melinda Willette

      Don’t know if you spoke with Rep, (son, of owners of Evangers) They ALL LIE!

  2. Reader

    Ahhh, no, not exactly. A consumer should photograph the can and make it available for 3rd party testing either with the FDA or a trustworthy expert facility. DO NOT OPEN IT.

    You return that can to the manufacturer? And you’ll never hear about it again!

    1. Eve

      TRUE that’s what happened to me. I purchased tins of snappy tom for my kitty cats (years ago) I spooned it out and found dead maggots all through it – I went to ten tins all the same. The last time I heard my cat tinkering on something on her plate I looked down and screamed. There was a large (10c piece size) bent piece of lead or tin. If my kitty had ingested it it could have either seriously injured or killed her. I furiously called the Uncle Bens (Snappy Tom) spoke to some guy who totally remeasured me to send it in so they can have a look at it (uhmm NO WAY) and tried to palm me off with 12 tins and $10 cheque. HOW DARE THEY. They even sent “two” men around to try to intimidate me DIDN’T WORK. i said Ill get media representation and that’s when he told me to take the free tins. I said NO I didn’t want them. My beloved kitty girl HOW DARE THEY DO THIS TO MY GIRL. From that point forward I NEVER bought a tin again it was all RAW meats and chicken necks for my cats.

  3. Linda Horn

    This recall sounds too much like the plot of the book “Toxin”, by Robin Cook. Maybe an unscrupulous slaughterhouse processed one or more euthanized animals, in violation of the law. I hope no other pets get sick from eating pentobarbitol-tainted food.

    1. Dog Mommy

      “Meats” from rendering plants are commonly used in pet foods and I don’t believe it’s against the law or AAFCO “standards.” Euthanized and dead pets/animals are taken to rendering plants all the time. It’s how shelters and veterinarians get rid of the bodies at no cost to themselves. The horrible companies let nothing to to waste. All items deemed unfit for human consumption are used in many, many pet foods. Diseased, dead, euthanized animals, moldy rice/grains/vegetables, etc. are turned into profit instead of waste as the unknowing or uncaring owner feeds this convenient, deadly garbage to their poor animals. More information: and

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Animals that have died other than by slaughter or diseased animals are a direct violation of federal law. FDA openly ignores law through use of Compliance Policies – which are not law. And FDA does not have the authority to use them in this manner. I – on behalf of pet food consumers – submitted a Citizen Petition (legal document) to FDA more than 2 months ago citing a Supreme Court ruling that proves FDA does not have the authority to allow law to be ignored in pet food/animal feed in the manner they do. I/we are still awaiting FDA’s response (which should be soon).

  4. brit

    another reason to make our own dog food

    1. Lynn Marie Utecht

      I agree Brit. After SoJos strong armed into charging what everyone else charges, I cancelled my recurring order and am now fully feeding USDA inspected raw and fresh/frozen veggies&fruits and grains. And Missing Link to boot.

      1. landsharkinnc

        USDA inspects all raw products – meats, veggies, fruits, grains, etc., but only those that PASS that inspection are deemed safe for human consumption.

      2. Rhonda Gillespie Floyd

        I am afraid of Missing Link since made in the USA supplements were reported to have ingredients from other countries. Do we have any documentation on supplements?

      3. Kelly Mottorn

        You didn’t notice this food came from a USDA facility.

  5. Lisa M.

    Unbelievable. At this point, other than mostly homemade raw for my cats, as far as commercial foods I will only feed those among your well researched and trusted list.
    Thank you for all of your tireless efforts and work on behalf of us, the pet food consumer.

  6. Day At The Bark

    Which is why I bought a commercial grinder and go to the butchers to buy whole rabbit and duck, etc… and my friend kills a deer for me to send to processing every winter….. I am honestly *so close* to believing that ALL pet food companies are con artists…

  7. Paula

    Abundance of caution! B.S. They murdered at least one dog and sickened others. No telling if there are many other cases in which the association with the food was not made. They don’t know how it got in their food or so they say. Seems like they should recall EVERYTHING made in their facility and cease production until they figure it out and take action to prevent recurrence. This is not salmonella — this drug is used to kill animals — and it did. I think Evangers should test their food on their owners and management team — let them eat solely their food and see how they do. Makes me sick.

    1. GG

      John P Buchweitz of Michigan State University in his report stated” “If this sample came directly from a can, this is an urgent matter and needs to be reported to the FDA…”. His statement makes clear that no proof whatsoever has been provided, that the sample tested came from the can. This leaves open the real possibility that the food may have been tampered with after being opened or exactly what the test sample was. Since the owner of the dog has been less than transparent, we have no knowledge whether her dog was euthanized using pentobarbital by her veterinarian.

      1. Lynn Marie Utecht

        Pentobarbital is a class II controlled drug. There is NO WAY she got this from her vet.

  8. Derek

    “Strong-armed”? A manufacturer has a right to determine price with their retail partners. I own a single store and we never sold Evangers because I didn’t trust them, and I had Sojo’s but got rid of it because I decided we could do better. gets huge VC money to sell everything at wholesale and then give free shipping on bags that would cost you at least $30-50 to ship. They’re doing just what Amazon did (and still does). Losing money to wipe out competition.

    The whole point of small stores like ours is that we’re the only ones willing to listen to these small start-up foods and give them shelf-space in our stores. They couldn’t even get a meeting with Chewy or PetSmart–until WE do our work as their retail/marketing arm (retailers are basically just outsourced marketing/sales teams) to explain WHY their products are better. Sure some do their own research, but Chewy wouldn’t bother with that–they’d have to invest the same kind of money we do (i.e. More employees) on selling the product rather than just putting up a site, slashing the price, and stealing all the business we originally built.

    Before a Supreme Court decision a few years back, big box retailers like this could “strong-arm” the MANUFACTURERS because the government was forbidding them to negotiate on their own behalf.

    This is why many companies simply retail their own stuff, or tightly control pricing through other means (Apple, Sony, Microsoft, etc., same price no matter where you go).

    Real price competition (beyond a few bucks) happens at the manufacturer level.

    If you don’t care about small business and lovely neighborhoods and all that, then fine. More power to you. But what bothers me is how many people praise small business and then spend all their time at Walmart and on Amazon/Chewy.

    1. Lynn Marie Utecht

      Yes, strong armed. I talked to both Chewys and SoJos. That is what SoJos did.

      1. Derek

        That’s not “strong-arming”. That’s negotiating. This isn’t the mafia. If Chewy wants to sell their product Sojos can’t have them screwing all of their other retail partners. Sojos has that right.

        1. Lynn Marie Utecht

          Chewys said that SoJos demanded they sell it at price others were selling it or SoJos would not supply chewys anymore I called SoJos and they confirmed it. I said this is a free market and chewys can charge whatever they want and SoJos said not at cheweys price. So what do YOU call that?? I call it strongarming.

          1. foodguy

            Incorrect Lynn. A company CAN’T charge whatever they want- manufacturers can install what is called MAP pricing (Minimum Advertised Pricing), and is applauded by independent retailers trying to compete against Chewy- which has zero interest in selling you better products for your dog to be happy in healthy- it is only interested in building a customer databass to eventually sell for profit to Amazon. No one should purchase from Chewy- it is killing independent retailers who go great lengths to help pet’s.

            MAP pricing is perfectly legal. I’m glad Sojos stood firm- some companies have even taken their products from Chewy altogether.

          2. Lynn Marie Utecht

            Whatever. It doesn’t matter anymore. I make my own now. So- you BOTH lost a customer.

  9. Nik

    The first recall in 82 years? That is not true either. 🙁

  10. DD

    I’ve never heard of “beef” being euthanized with pentobarbital. Here’s hoping the FDA continues the investigation and shares with the class.

    1. Yvonne McGehee

      Good point, how can that be explained?

    2. C

      We have euthanized cows (that were more pets than anything else) and had their bodies hauled off to the rendering plant. Same with horses. That’s how they get them.

  11. Yvonne McGehee

    I thought Evangers has had recalls before? I have read that in the past, DNA testing in some of their canned food found literally no DNA from the animal source specified on the label. And I think there was some other legal problem with the company in the past.

  12. Debi

    These people have a long and pretty bad history, I hope I never have to feed our dogs their foods……….but what about all of the good companies, (so called), that Evengers co-packs for, like organic Party Animal and many, many others, scary, make homemade food for them and at least you will know what is in it.

  13. Erika

    Evangers has never had a recall until today. Stronger-armed? I don’t know what you do for but I am a independent pet store owner and have spend countless time with consumers who don’t know anything about the food they feed, educating them about good food only to have them buy a few bags of food from me and then go on and get it cheaper. I don’t call that fair business in my book. That is why I took Sojo’s off my shelve until them implemented that policy. As for Evanger’s they are a good company that cares about animals and Hunk of Beef is exactly what Holly and Joel feed their dog. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

      1. Kelly Mottorn

        This was proven wrong. And closed in writing.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Hi Kelly – the mislabeling issue was not proven wrong. Evangers made that announcement in a press release – but I contacted the FDA after and FDA confirmed to me the issue stood as FDA claimed. Yes – the Warning Letter was eventually closed. This is typical with any Warning Letter when FDA has sound evidence the company has corrected the issue.

  14. Reader

    Everyone owes Susan a debt of gratitude! She put this story front and center. Both helping to warn owners if case they had cans stored away. And putting pressure on the FDA to take a preemptive position so that Evanger’s would …. “voluntarily” …do a recall.

    There is nowhere else you would’ve read this story, from beginning of the News Report to action taken.

    Thank you Susan !!!

  15. bumpsnwarts

    My Saint Bernard was eating Evangers Hunks of Beef in 2016. Started with 3 cans and my dog liked and no problems. I bought a case, after, and gave some to her and she became very, very sick – took her and remaining food in can to vets. Vet said, “Contaminated – Bad Food – do not ever feed this to her, again”. I opened 3 more cans in case, (did not feed her) and same! I contacted Evangers and spoke to husband (Joel) Asst to CEO (Joel’s wife) and Joel was a TOTAL JERK blasting ME when telling him the lot numbers and expiration dates of which he replied, “We have NO lot numbers” and wanting a refund! I purchased case through local pet store and communicate to owner of Pet Store where purchased. He contacted Joel and Joel said,”refund her and PUT remaining back on shelves”!!! I was APPALLED!!!

    1. Reader

      With 100% gratitude for posting your comment here! Which you never had to do. But have helped many other customers. So thank you!

      But with all due respect, that exchange needs to be reported to the FDA, particularly after the voluntary recall. More unopened cans need to be tested. (For other Readers, never return them to the store or to Evanger’s).

      The point is, what if the problem expanded further than just the Lots that the Shers are reporting?

  16. Virginia

    Evangers has been caught misbranding in the past, (Aug 2010 and Dec 2010), and substituting inferior proteins to save a buck, (the Duck had no duck and the Lamb had no lamb). It was deemed by the FDA to be “adulterated”. They were sent a warning letter, but it was never a recall. What is to stop them from substituting euthanized animal shelter animals? It’s a cheap protein.

    What’s scary is that not only is a Pentobarbitol pet food endangering animals but toddlers who crawl around on the floor to sample pet food. It would be prudent for the FDA to check the DNA species identification of their other varieties as well, such as their Rabbit, their very expensive Buffalo, as well as their many other varieties. No telling what they contain.

    1. Lynn Marie Utecht

      I agree. FDA is REALLY dropping the ball here. But what else is new?? What govt entity would we write/ call to complain about FDA lack of action??

      1. Virginia

        The FDA is not “dropping the ball”. They are working extremely hard on this, but these things take time. Testing takes time. The reason the Duck and Lamb pet food was not recalled is that it did not fall into the “potentially present a significant or serious risk to the consumer” category.

        1. Lynn Marie Utecht

          You really are kidding me-right? This is sodium pentobarbital we are talking about. In the industry the brand names are ‘Fatal Plus’ and ‘Sleep Away’
          This is what veteranarians use to PUT TO DEATH animals. What if a child ate this? You are ridiculous and so is the FDA for not acting immediately and decisively.
          I am done with this whole thread. This is just dumbfounding and stupid.

        2. Just Another Pet Owner

          You sound like you are connected with the FDA. I sound like just another “crazy, irrational, pet owner.” So with both those disclaimers in place, let’s not forget the tragedy happened 12/31/16. And the recall happened 2/3/17.

          I missed the TV News Station report. Evanger’s is sold at a lot of independent Retailers. AND at a lot of Dog Shows! Exhibitors order ahead, and buy it by the pallet & the case. Then throw it into the RV. And move on to the next venue. There’s no way Evanger’s could’ve pulled all of this from the public.

          Evanger’s was testing for a lot of things (which is good), except NOT for the specific result of the necropsy. That should’ve been Test Number 1. Evanger’s acted as if they couldn’t imagine how pentobarbital would even be in their supply chain. Absence of test = more wasted time.

          Through the discovery process, the onus has been on the owner. Doubt being cast for a myriad of reasons. Like there really “would” be another reason to explain why 4 dogs, eating the same food, on the same night, rushed to the Vet, tested positive for the same result, would be a mistake. Like somebody tampered with a single can on a mega-assembly line. And finally, how it must’ve been the supplier’s fault. No mention of Evanger’s need for quality control or batch testing, or Evanger’s holding certification of protein fit for human consumption. Because that’s what they claim on their website.

          In terms of the FDA? Will closure of this investigation EVER be published? They should’ve been on top this story, like bees on honey. Being proactive about protecting the public. Not the company. Especially because of Evanger’s LONG history. What about issuing a simple warning during the testing process? Like “consumers should hold off feeding this product until …. .” I can tell you that if ONE SINGLE jar of baby food had KILLED a child, and made 3 others in that family deathly ill, then that news would’ve been on National and Cable TV News for 24 hours! And if I wasn’t a subscriber to the TAPF …. I still wouldn’t have known. Until receiving the USDA Recall email, and that’s because I subscribe to them!! What about everybody else in between?

          “One month” (in your estimate) might seem like a respectable period of time for people working “extremely hard” on this? But not when questions are put to the department, and ignored. I can say, that in the interim, if a pet had been lost to a PREVENTABLE mistake, you’d feel differently. Thank heavens the pet owner did all the right things! And knew enough to share it with TAPF. If anything, … at least to flush out more cans …. for testing!! And no, they should NOT be returned to the manufacturer before testing.

          (I’m not affiliated with this website, or related to the author. Just another Follower with an independent opinion and a lot of gratitude for how it services all pet food consumers)!

          1. Virginia

            As I said on Friday, “these things take time.” Today Monday, the FDA said that the CLOSED CANS DO indeed have sodium pentobarbitol. So, finally. I agree with you on the time it seems to get things done. This is serious, as a human baby could easily crawl around and sample the food.

            This is big news. I am disappointed in the media for not picking up the story, yet, but now that it is proven without a doubt, they undoubtedly will.

    2. Reader

      At first, that was my question. Then I figured it out.

      Both sides already know. They always have known. Why else would Evanger’s VOLUNTARILY recall, instead of the FDA “demanding” a recall? If they had (especially against Evanger’s best interests) by being given the opportunity to cast their own doubts on their own guilt) then Evanger’s could cry foul. Meaning, if the FDA admitted the worst DNA species test result, it would scandalize the industry, demonstrate the FDA has no control. And put doubt on all products & manufacturers. Particularly about what goes into kibble. AND would cost the FDA a fortune to clean up the problem.

      My guess is, there’s an unspoken but expected “mixture” of what suppliers “push” on buyers. Because of the landfill issue, and motivating buyers with optimal pricing. All this sounds horrible to the public (who’ve forgotten about the days of using horsemeat). But it’s a business. It’s an industry. And a work-a-round in dealing with environmental hazards. Worse would be (relatively speaking) for chemically poisonous solids to be oozing underground.

      Someone in another post said, the meat can be USDA inspected, sure.But for safety, it needs to be “passed” for human grade consumption.

      The real question is, can Evanger’s produce THAT level of paperwork?

  17. Sara

    FYI… from an email this afternoon from

    “Exclusive: Another recall coming soon, pet food company says

    to me
    1 hour agoDetails
    Important news from Petful (formerly Pets Adviser)

    Another pet food recall is imminent.
    Because you signed up for recall alerts from Petful (formerly Pets Adviser), we wanted to tell you right away about a new pet food recall.

    Petful has learned that any Evanger’s pet food made with “chunk beef” will be recalled soon over concerns about potential pentobarbital. This is an extension of the previous recall announced earlier this month.

    Click over to our site to read the full details now:

    Also, in case you missed it, we published a story earlier today that discusses this pet food maker’s troubled history leading up to the shocking recall. Those troubles go back more than a decade. Pentobarbital, as you have probably heard by now, is a drug used for euthanasia — and it has no reason being in pet food.

    If you didn’t read our article earlier today, do yourself a favor and read it now. Prepare to be completely grossed out.

    Please share! Thank you.

    — From your friends at Petful”

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