Back in “the day,” duck & cover school drills for nuclear attacks were common. We rarely read about weather-related news events, and there were 7 famous “dirty words” you couldn’t say on television. We didn’t hear much about pet food recalls either.
Some things change, others don’t
The latter half of 2017 brought its fair share of pet food recalls. One of the most intriguing began with reports of Evanger’s Beef canned food making dogs sick. It then spread to other beef-based canned foods.
This turned out to be a breakdown in the supply chain when testing revealed the beef contained horsemeat contaminated by pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a drug used to euthanize animals and it is prohibited in any food or feed product.
Not surprisingly, this led to a rash of lawsuits between manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers which are still ongoing. For the most part, this story had disappeared from the news.
Is history repeating itself?
Earlier this month, reports began trickling in about some canned foods from the J.M. Smucker Company making dogs sick. We usually don’t pay much attention to brands like Gravy Train, where the problem was first reported. But as more information became available, other Smucker’s brands were added to the recall list and one bit of information sounded ominously familiar.
Canned foods containing beef were the primary suspects in this recall. Last week a more complete list of affected brands was released which included Kibbles & Bits, Ol Roy and Skippy. What is puzzling about this recall is that it includes not just beef-based foods. It also includes some Chicken, Turkey and Lamb formulas. All “have the potential” to be contaminated with pentobarbital.
The optimist in me wants to believe that the recall expansion into different proteins is an attempt to minimize any potential cross-contamination. While good, this would indicate some room for improvement in maintenance and cleaning procedures when different formulas are produced.
A darker possibility is that pentobarbital is now being found in more ingredient supply chains than previously thought. The only way to know is to follow the results of testing initiated following the recall announcement.
Other unrelated recalls have been announced this month
There have been a few other recalls announced this month as a result of more “common” problems.
Specific lots of six different Darwin’s raw food are being investigated due to testing which revealed the presence of salmonella & listeria. Darwin’s has notified its customers of the problem, but has not issued a recall for the products under investigation.
Salmonella has also been found on one specific Red Barn Beef Chew package which has been recalled. Smokehouse treats has expanded an earlier recall for salmonella contamination.
None of the affected products have been sold by Smiley Dog. Like those 7 dirty words, we’d prefer not to expose you to these products, even though these days they can be seen and heard just about everywhere.
- Click here for the FDA list of recalled Smucker’s products
- Click here for the Darwin’s investigation information
- Click here for the Red Barn recall information
- Click here for the Smokehouse recall information
If you have bought any of the products on the recall list, return them to your place of purchase for a refund or replacement.