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The Honest Kitchen Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lots of Verve, Zeal and Thrive Products

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  1. Jay Smith

    Let’s SUPPORT Lucy & the gang at The Honest Kitchen! Of all leading commercial brands there’s only a few we can honestly feel good recommending for variety, and Lucy’s company is one of them. I hope that all of you will help see Lucy & the gang through their recall. The way that Lucy has handled this early action should signal that we should trust she’ll continue to do right.

    1. Lynn Utecht

      It was dated August to November 2012.
      Today is February. 21st. Almost March.
      What took so long for them to find out and when did they find out?

      1. Jay Smith

        Absolutely. When the supplier of your parsley notifies – two months after you’ve produced and shipped – that they *may* have a problem with some of the parsley that you’ve used in your food, this is exactly how you handle it when your company cares about even the possibility of harm. And, since bacteria levels are often below detectable levels until some time passes, and get easier to detect with time, this is THE textbook best practice for protecting the consumer if a problem is detected after production and shipping.

  2. Kelly

    Actions like this make me extremely proud of this company. Thank you Honest Kitchen for doing right by pets and their families. We love this company!

  3. rosie

    thank you Lucy for being proactive! i was a bit worried when i read that honest kitchen had recalled food because i love honest kitchen products and so does my pup. i feel more comfortable now having read Lucy’s very forthcoming explain and plan of action – i will continue to feed hk to my pup. thanks for being careful.

  4. Gabrielle

    Mon Dieu! Everybody is recalling everything. Salmonella seems to be in all the pet foods even in the ones that supposed to be really good and safe. Well, from now own to be really safe, I now cook all the foods for my Dachshund. Honest Kitchen is not so honest is it?

    1. Kelley

      Let’s put 2+2 together please. One, THK is one of fourteen out of 2500 PF formulas that Susan has reviewed in her PetSumer Report, that has submitted the Pledge to Quality and Origin. Two, THK reported that their 3rd party supplier (of human-grade parsley)recalled a batch because it “may” have been contaminated by Samonella. And Three, THK regularly tests for this (and other) pathogens, yet found no evidence, nor have they received any reports of affected pets.
      The whole point of “this” recall, is that THK was under no pressure to issue a voluntary recall. Nobody would’ve ever known the difference, except that this company “chose” to admit the facts. It trusts it’s customers, yes. But even so it has chosen to do the right thing, truly out of an abundance of caution.
      What’s the difference between this statement coming from so many other run of the mill PF companys and from THK? Because they care, period.
      And I am happy to believe them!

    2. dmiller

      I don’t think you are being fair to HK. Their supplier found a problem and they acted on it. We’re you expecting them to grow their own parsley?

    3. Dalmom


      If you actually read the recall, it was due to human grade parsley….same type of parsley that you would buy for yourself in a grocery store and probably use to cook for your dog.

      But, everyone has the right to their own opinion. Me…I’m sticking with Honest Kitchen…they WERE being Honest by taking this proactive action, even though their testing never showed a problem. This is the only dog food that I purchase and have full trust in what is stated on the label is actually in the food.

      1. Gabrielle

        Question: why does pet food require parsley in the first place? I don’t feed parsley to my dog.

        1. Reader

          Google: Benefits of Parsley for dogs. Also helps control fresh breath and can settle an upset tummy. I look at it like an extra yummy ingredient added to PF!!

  5. Ily

    I own a small local holistic pet food & supply delivery company and we also do some nationwide shipping.

    As a Dog Walker/Pet Sitter I was always asked by my clients why their pet had this or that. I started this service when I saw what my clients were feeding their pet friends. I would guide them and try to switch them over to the best food they can afford. The ones who have taken my advice have seen a tremendous improvement in their pets health and behavior.

    I don’t know if I can feel comfortable continuing to offer products not knowing if tomorrow or next week I will be getting an email saying they are on the list as well. Sad to see some of the “best” names out there recalling products.

    I am almost embarrassed to send out the recall info to them, after I have spoken so strongly about why they should switch, ( how food is processed, sourcing etc..)

    I know many of these recalls are just for precaution, but they all say the same thing, “we do this out of the abundance of precaution.. All products go through a — point check.. no evidence of — has been found” etc.. then why the worry?

    Sorry, I know I will get a lot of slack for this but I agree with Gabrielle, I think I will be doing the cooking. Although our food situation is pretty bad too!

    1. Pacific Sun

      And how would you have handled the situation if you made a batch of homemade pet food that had the human grade and “possibly” contaminated parsley used in it? Would you be blaming yourself for buying the parsley instead of not growing it yourself, or blame the store for stocking it, or the supplier for bringing it in, or the packer, or the grower for not taking an abundance of caution? How do we know the seeds weren’t the problem…. I’m mean, really. We live in a supply-chain world. For the most part, we depend upon one another. The parties that step forward to remedy situations are to be applauded not punished, as long as they have a track record of doing the right thing. The Honest Kitchen has that track record. They didn’t even have to mention the issue, but they did. And they don’t deserve the flack they’re receiving or to be lumped in with a hundred+ other ridiculously unethical and deceitful companies.

  6. dmiller

    Not to rain on your parade but you could possibly buy contaminated ingredients. Parsley is used in all kinds of things.

    Kaytee is also recalling items because of the parsley flakes.

  7. Neil

    Honest Kitchen does not sell its product to Pet Stores that actually sell Pets. That kind of strange for a Pet Food Company

    1. Sunny Braley

      NO company should support a pet store that sells puppies or kittens. I applaud them for not doing so!

  8. Craig

    Thank you Lucy for your honesty and integrity. THK is a wonderful organization and I won’t feed my dogs anything else!

  9. Claudia

    Just curious why does it takes so long to recognize the need for a recall? Just like the two jerky recalls this week, the batches were made last year. Do you know how this happens?

    1. Kate from Honest Kitchen

      HI Claudia – I work for the Honest Kitchen and wanted to respond to your question about the timing. Our parsley supplier just contacted us based on some recent product testing they conducted. When we used the product in the batches in Aug-Oct, all finished products made with the parsley tested completely normal on all occasions. To date, no tests run on our finished products have detected salmonella.

      We run a battery of quality control tests, including a test for salmonella and we wait for the results of those tests before allowing any products to leave our facility. All lots were tested as normal and from our end, the food was human-grade safe.

      However, because those lots of finished food are produced from the same parsley as that which has now shown to be contaminated, they are now ‘guilty by association’.

      Please let me know if you still have any questions or feel free to call our customer service dept: 866-437-9729. You can also check out this FAQ page:

      1. Reader

        Hi Kate. Since you posted here, this is a direct opportunity for me to thank you for all your products, to tell you how much I LOVE them, how well they agree with my dogs, and mix with raw, or work great for traveling and augmenting other diets. I have found NO other product as complete, as versatile, or as worry free. I think you are absolutely to be commended for being 1 of 14 companies (out of 100’s) that responded to Susan Thixton’s pledge, did so voluntarily and immediately. It should tell the consumers that you have an immediate handle on the origin of your ingredients, and can therefore be that much more responsive. Since you are not exactly “clairvoyant” and exactly because your own products were NOT testing positive for the problem, there was no way to anticipate the issue until the supplier communicated. Please know I ALWAYS recommend your products, and will continue to do so! Thank you again.

  10. brit

    so why did they not know about this until now? While its possible that I could personally buy parsley that is contaminated I presumed that a company like HK has some method of testing prior to using. So now I will not pay the high price for HK but instead will now totally make my own dog food. Why does everyone make it sounds like HK did such a wonderful job letting us know about this – isn’t this what they are required to do?

    1. Lillian

      Do you test the parsley you buy and use for your family’s potato salad??? I thought not. My personal opinion is that the THK bashers out here jumping on a ridiculous subject like potentially contaminated parsely are slamming the competition. First consumers want human-grade quality pet food and processing facility, then they want to know the origin of the ingredients, they don’t want foreign or synthetics, then they don’t want grains, then they want a high quality protein, then they want transparency (you can visit THK by the way), then they want the company to be on First Alert (Susan’s Advisory System) then they want the product to be full of primary nutrients. When you’all figure out THE most perfect PF food, including the home made you make (where in theory you “could” buy contaminated ground Turkey just as easily) … please post your results here. I think the readers would be eternally grateful.

  11. Betty Provencal

    I think it’s a crime when it takes 6 months to find out that food is contaminated. Aug. to Feb. is 6 months…so HK isn’t really doing anyone a big favor here. How many pets got sick? Why don’t these Pet Food companies hire inspectors that can test and check the ingredients before they are used. SO what if it was human grade parsley….it still got into the food, and it’s contaminated! A lot of Pet Foods have human grade food….it still should be tested…look what the FDA is having us eat!

    1. Kate from Honest Kitchen

      Hi Betty – No humans or pets have gotten sick. All of our products have tested negative for salmonella and we do have strict quality control tests on all of our products before they are allowed into the market.

      Basically, in the food industry, companies purchase large amounts of raw ingredients to make a “lot” of food. So in this case, our parsley supplier may have made a batch that was 10,000 lbs. (this is a hypothetical example). If 100 lbs of that was contaminated with salmonella and 9,900 lbs is free of salmonella, the entire batch is guilty by association. Given that all the test results on our end are normal to date, it’s very likely that we did not receive contaminated product, but because it was produced with product from the large batch, we’re erring on the side of caution.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  12. Sunny Braley

    After buying Spinach this week just to return it 2 days later and eating 2 salads it happens. Since this is human grade foods it can happen to any ingredient these days. Since none of their testing has shown any sign of it they are just being cautious. I would rather buy foods that are from Human grade then from the PFI and know I take less chance of serious issues.

  13. Chgo Denise

    I applaud THK. They get a batch of parsley that “could” be tainted and they know EXACTLY which batches that parsley was put in? Now THAT is good record keeping. THK lists more info than any other company in their Pledge to Quality & Origin.

    Are Big Pet Foods listing their rendered ingredients, by-products & 4D meats KNOWING these ingredients are bad? Anyone remember the chicken jerky problem? They wouldn’t do a recall or even a product pull, even tho pets are dying, because they might lose money. And this has gone on for years !

    THK took on the department of Agriculture and won. Any other companies able to say that? That’s HUGE in my book. I will continue to feed and recommend their food.

  14. […] The Honest Kitchen Voluntarily Recalls Susan Thixton – The Honest Kitchen today announced that it is voluntarily recalling five lots of its Verve, Zeal and Thrive pet food products produced between August and November 2012 and sold nationwide in the US and Canada via retail stores, mail order and online after August 2012 because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No other Honest Kitchen batches, production dates or products are affected. […]

  15. Megan

    The posts by Honest Kitchen give me even more of a reason to love their company. Unfortunately, my cat will not eat the Grace formula(I won’t feed the Prowl, too high in carbs). She just doesn’t want anything to do with it, but if she did, she would be eating this! The explanations given here by honest kitchen are very reassuring and it makes perfect sense. “Guilty by association” means they were eering on the side of caution, no worries here!

    1. Reader

      Try adding a little fresh (favorite) protein! Make sure it’s rehydrated generously! Some cats like food very moist. Many of the smaller pet supply stores get samples from the company so you can try certain formulas, and won’t have to invest in one your pet may not like. THK is a great company. They probably have their own suggestions too, and they’re easy to contact. I like to encourage users whenever possible! Though I’m just a regular consumer too.

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