Dog food company Evanger’s has announced it is voluntarily recalling some of its Hunk of Beef product after a drug used for euthanasia was found in it, the company announced Friday.
Pentobarbital, a drug that causes drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and death in extreme cases, was found in the stomach of one of the five dogs that became ill, Evanger’s said in a press release. One of those dogs has died.
Pentobarbital is frequently used to euthanize animals and has also been used to execute criminals.
The five lots Evanger’s is recalling were sold in stores and online in Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The lot numbers are 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The second half of the barcode reads 20109, which can be found on the back of the product label.
Evanger’s said it is testing the Hunk of Beef product to determine if pentobarbital is in the food and has investigated how the drug could have gotten into their food in the first place.
“What we learned was that pentobarbital is very highly controlled, and that, if an animal is euthanized, it is done so by a veterinarian,” Evanger’s said in a press release. Once this process has been done, there is absolutely no regulation that requires the certified vet to place any kind of marker on the animal indicating that it has been euthanized and guaranteeing that product from euthanized animals cannot enter the food chain.”
The company said it has terminated its relationship with the supplier of meat for that product. That supplier is not connected to any of Evanger’s other foods.
The dogs became ill on Jan. 2, and Evanger’s said it fully covered the veterinary bills of affected dogs. The company also announced it would be making a donation to a local shelter.