Dog Food Recalls Issued Due to Risk of Euthanasia Sedative Contamination

Following the death of at least one dog, and a number of other reports involving illnesses among pets, recalls have been issued for dog food sold under the “Hunks of Beef” and “Against The Grain Pulled Beef” brand labels, as the products may be contaminated with a sedative used for euthanasia. 

The dog food recalls were announced this week, after the sedative pentobarbital was found in cans of Evanger’s Hunks of Beef, which has been blamed for the death of one dog, and illnesses in four others.

Pentobarbital is a short-acting barbiturate, which is commonly used as a euthanasia sedative and can be lethal to animals if ingested orally. Side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, and death.

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The contaminated dog food products are being recalled after an investigation by the FDA discovered pentobarbital in a toxicology report performed on one consumer’s pet dogs after they became very sick, one of whom died, shortly after consuming Evanger’s Hunks of Beef. Following the discovery from the toxicology report, the FDA opened an investigation and further discovered the same sedative in additional lot numbers of the canned food.

The FDA issued the Evanger’s Hunks of Beef recall on February 3, indicating that all 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned pet food with lot numbers starting with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB that have an expiration date of June 2020 would be included in the recall. The products were manufactured by Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food of Wheeling, Illinois from June 6, 2016 through June 13, 2016 and are marked with bar codes ending in 20109.

The recalled 12-ounce Hunk of Beef products were sold in retail locations and online in Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The FDA also announced an Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs recall after determining the same ingredients for meat products were used in these products as the previously recalled Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food products.

That recall includes only the 12-ounce cans of Pulled Beef & Gravy Dinner for Dogs marked with lot number 2415E01ATB12 and UPC codes ending in 80001. The products were distributed for sale to independent retail stores in Washington and Maryland.

The FDA has confirmed that neither of the recalled products are on stores shelved for purchase. However, customers are being asked to stop using any of the recalled pet food immediately and check their inventory at home to see if the products are included in the recall.

Customers are being directed to return any remaining recalled products to the store it was purchased from for a full refund. Customers with further questions may contact either Against the Grain at 708-566-4410 or Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co. at 1-847-537-0102.


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