Nature’s Variety Issues Voluntary Recall of One Batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula for Dogs & Cats

From the Nature’s Variety website:


INraw_med_orgchickNature’s Variety has announced a voluntary recall of one batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula with a “Best if Used By” date of 10/04/13. This action is being taken because pieces of clear plastic may be found in some bags and could cause a potential choking risk to pets. The source of plastic has been identified and the issue has been resolved.

The affected product is strictly limited to a single batch of Organic Chicken Formula with the “Best if Used By” date of 10/04/13.

This includes:

• UPC# 7 69949 60137 1 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula medallions, 3 lbs. bag
• UPC# 7 69949 70137 8 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula medallions, 27 lbs. case
• UPC# 7 69949 60127 2 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula patties, 6 lbs. bag
• UPC# 7 69949 70127 9 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula patties, 36 lbs. case

The “Best if Used By” date is located on the back of the package below the “Contact Us” section. The affected product was distributed through retail stores and internet sales in the United States and Canada. No other products were impacted.

Nature’s Variety became aware of a potential issue after receiving a consumer complaint. The source of the issue was identified and resolved. To date, there have been no reports of harm to dogs or cats.

Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature’s Variety, stated, “At Nature’s Variety we take quality and safety very seriously. We believe that under all circumstances, the health and safety of pets comes first.”

Consumers feeding the affected product should discontinue use and monitor their pet’s health, and contact their veterinarian if they have concerns. Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or exchange by either returning the product in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.

Consumers with additional questions can call the Nature’s Variety Consumer Relations team at 1.888.519.7387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST. Or, click here to email us directly.

For media inquiries, please contact Jeff Dezen at JDPR by phone (864.233.3776, ext. 11) or email (

February 15, 2013

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16 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Nature’s Variety Issues Voluntary Recall of One Batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula for Dogs & Cats”

  1. Liz Bennett says:

    Now these guys are good. I have dealt with many manufacturers over the two years in business and Nature’s Variety are the best in food and ethics. I sell a lot of their product, have seen it help many, many dogs mainly with allergies, scratching and real bad skin issues. You do not have to twist their arm to issue a recall.

  2. Daniel Podobed says:

    While that may be true, I hope you wouldn’t have to twist anyone’s arm demanding a recall when they found plastic inside of the food. I also don’t exactly agree with all of the companies calling a situation like this a “voluntary” recall because had they not done so, the FDA would have issued a mandatory recall, and they would be paying for some serious vet bills via lawsuits.

  3. Dragon77 says:

    I had to complain to them about the RAW 5lb slabs last summer (specifically the Chicken), because it had HUGE, SHARP chunks of bone in it. I sent them pics and everything – some were larger than a dime. I’ll buy their cans, but not their raw anymore.

    It almost seems like no company is safe these days.

  4. Gabrielle says:

    It appears that we cannot rely on any pet food that’s on the market. Although I am now feeding my dachshund NutriSource chicken and rice kibbles, which has so far not been recalled to my knoweledge, I am seriously thinking about starting to cook her food. I can’t really afford to buy some of the very expensive raw food that is on the market, nor do I trust any. Susan, is there a cookbook that you would recommend I could buy? I am seriously considering becoming a dog food chef!

  5. Dr. Amy says:

    I have to wonder if the pieces of plastic were from the HPP process. They should share where the plastic was from AND what steps they are taking to prevent future problems. Yes if they had not voluntarily recalled the food for plastic foreign objects FDA would have issues one!

    Dr. Amy

  6. Annie says:

    Not to mention carving up their intestinal tracts if smaller ones bypass the swallow…

  7. Recall aside, I have big issues with them calling this food raw — it is high pressure pasteurized! As Dr. Amy pointed out, this plastic may have come from that process. It’s a shame they went the HPP route, allegedly caving to the pressure of Petco who would not sell a true raw food. Once this company was about the principles of natural feeding. Clearly now, they are about something else…

    It’s really not that hard to feed your dog real, whole foods. And you are far less likely to find plastic shards in those foods!

    • Gabrielle says:

      Thank you Drs. Amy and Coger. I will definitely purchase the PaWsible cookbook and start cooking my Dachshund’s food. I make a mean Chicken Pot-au-Feu, so it will not be difficult to be the chef for my little dog.

    • Kelli says:

      I agree with Dr. Coger. It is actually easy and fairly cost effective to feed your dog real whole foods. One of my Jack Russells (12 years of age) is second generation on this form of diet. He is a champion racer and still plays with my 2 year old jack on a daily basis. Every time my sister sees me prepare their food (it takes about 5 minutes) she says “those dogs eat a healthier diet than most kids in America”. She now feeds her cats the same type of diet, with wonderful results.

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