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Gravy Train, Ol’ Roy, other brands recalled for euthanasia drug

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Smucker Co. downplays phenobarbital amid ‘withdrawal’ of four dog food brands

The J.M. Smucker Co. has voluntarily withdrawn certain shipments of 27 different pet food products following media reports of pentobarbital contamination in some of its Gravy Train dog food.

Pentobarbital is a tranquilizer that is often used as a euthanizing agent to put down sick or fatally injured animals.

A consumer-level product recall has not been initiated. As of Wednesday afternoon neither Smucker nor any government agencies had revealed whether any of the implicated dog food made it to retail shelves where the public has access to buy it.

Smucker’s spokesperson provided Food Safety News a list of the recalled dog food, which it has requested retailers remove from their warehouses. The list of recalled dog food provided by Smucker is as follows:

  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks – UPC: 7910052541
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips – UPC: 7910052542
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks – UPC: 7910052543
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks – UPC: 7910034417
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks – UPC: 7910034418
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew – UPC: 7910051933
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley – UPC: 7910051934
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks – UPC: 7910034417
  • Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks – UPC: 7910051645
  • Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks – UPC: 7910051647
  • In addition to certain Skippy and Kibbles ‘n’ Bits dog foods, the Smucker Co. is pulling Gravy Train and Ol’ Roy brands.

    Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack – UPC: 7910010377; 7910010378

  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety Pack – UPC: 7910010382; 7910048367; 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack – UPC: 7910010380; 7910010377; 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack – UPC: 791001037; 7910048367
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy – UPC: 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy – UPC: 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy – UPC: 7910010380
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts in Gravy with Beef & Bone Marrow – UPC: 7910071860
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts with Burgers & Cheese Bits – UPC: 7910050243
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Smoky Turkey & Bacon – UPC: 7910050246
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef & Chicken – UPC: 7910050247
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 Chicken, Beef & Liver – UPC: 7910050248
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew – UPC: 7910050249
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Chicken – UPC: 7910050244
  • Skippy 13.2 oz, Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef – UPC: 7910050250
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef – UPC: 7910050245
  • Ol’ Roy 13.2 oz Turkey Bacon Strips – UPC: 8113117570

Smucker initiated the product withdrawal following a Feb. 8 media report of low levels of pentobarbital contamination in some Gravy Train products.

The contamination was detected during the course of a study commissioned by WJLA, a Washington D.C. area station, according to a spokesperson from the Clean Label Project, which conducted the study for the news station. Gravy Train was the only brand of pet food included in the study that was found to contain pentobarbital.

The study was undertaken in response to the 2017 discovery of pentobarbital in brands of canned/wet dog food manufactured by Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co. Inc., an adulteration that resulted in illnesses of several pets and at least one death.

Beginning in October 2017, Clean Label Project obtained 99 retail samples of various brands of canned/wet dog food for pentobarbital analysis by Ellipse Analytics, a Denver laboratory.

The samples were analyzed to determine both the presence and the amount of pentobarbital in the dog foods, using test methods consistent with FDA protocols. According to Smucker, the amounts of pentobarbital found in their product “…do not pose a threat to pet safety.”

An FDA spokesperson told Food Safety News that the agency’s “…preliminary evaluation of the testing results of Gravy Train samples indicates that the low level of pentobarbital present in the withdrawn products is unlikely to pose a health risk to pets.

“However, pentobarbital should never be present in pet food and products containing any amount of pentobarbital are considered to be adulterated,” said the FDA spokesperson.

All of the products included on Smucker’s retailer recall list came from the same manufacturing facility. The company has narrowed its investigation to “…a single supplier and a single, minor ingredient…” used at that facility.

Jaclyn Bowen, the executive director of Clean Label Project expressed a lack of surprise at the pentobarbital findings.

“At Clean Label Project, we believe that sometimes what’s not on the label is what’s most important,” she said.

“Clean Label Project’s 2017 Pet Food Study revealed high levels of heavy metals, BPA, and acrylamide in some of the nation’s best selling pet food. The presence of pentobarbital in Gravy Train does not come as a surprise and the Evanger’s recall was not a one-off, rather the tip of the iceberg of an industry that needs to significantly improve its food safety and quality through testing.”

Smucker encourages pet owners with questions or concerns about this situation to contact the company by telephone 800-828-9980 or via email at: http://www.bigheartpet.com/Contact/ContactUs.aspx.

This story first appeared on Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission.

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Recalls and Alerts: February 9 – 14, 2018

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Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Allergy Alert: Wegmans recalls Lotte Kancho Choco Biscuit (UPC 880106214481) due to undeclared peanuts.

Allergy Alert: Lunds & Byerlys recalls L&B Israeli Couscous and L&B White Quinoa (both with Best by date of 2/11/19) due to undeclared wheat.

Allergy Alert: Saker ShopRites, Inc. recalls approximately 19,757 pounds of pork and chicken empanadas due to undeclared egg. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were shipped to retail locations in New Jersey.

Allergy Alert: Weis Markets recalls pre-made Penne Pasta with Asiago Sauce and Grilled Chicken single serving meal due to undeclared milk.

Allergy Alert: East Eagle Food Trading Inc. recalls vegetable drink (450ml clear plastic bottle; Lot #20170513; UPC  6932496800748) due to undeclared milk. The recalled product was distributed in New York State in retail stores.

Pet Food Safety Recall/Outbreak Alert: Arrow Reliance Inc. (d.b.a. Darwin’s Natural Pet Foods) recalls ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41957) and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41567), after FDA confirms the presence of Salmonella in the products. This is the latest in a series of unpublicized recalls by the company. FDA is aware of six incidents of pets that became ill after eating a Darwin’s Natural meal, including one kitten that died as a result of a systemic Salmonella infection. The latest recall was triggered by a consumer complaint involving a dog that suffered from diarrhea over a nine month period as a result of a Salmonella infection.

Pet Food Safety Recall: Redbarn Pet Products, LLC recalls Redbarn’s 7-inch Bully Stick three pack (2.4-oz package; Expiry date code 112120ABC; UPC 7 85184 25105 8) after the Colorado Department of Agriculture found Salmonella in a sample of the product obtained at a retail location.

Canada

Allergy Alert: Canda Six Fortune Enterprise Co. Ltd. recalls Paldo brand Seaweed Snack products (see recall notice for complete list of Paldo products) and Lotte brand Kancho Choco Biscuit due to undeclared peanuts. The recalled products were distributed to retailers across Canada.

Allergy Alert: K.J. Foods Inc. recalls KJ Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice (450g; UPC 6 28568 61004 4) and KJ Sesame Chicken with Rice (450g; UPC 6 28568 61002 0) due to undeclared milk. The recalled products were distributed to retailers in Ontario.

Food Safety Recall: Charcuterie Varsovie inc. (Montreal, QC) recalls Smoked Atlantic Salmon, Sturgeon, and Smoked Mackerel (all products sold up to and including 13 February 2018) because these items were not prepared and processed in a manner that would ensure they were safe to eat.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Belgium): Carrefour recalls CAR BIO TORTILLA CHILI (125g; Lot #37332; Best by 28/06/2018) and CARREFOUR BIO TORTILLA CHIPS (125g; Lot #37332; Best by 28/06/2018) due to undeclared gluten.

Allergy Alert (Denmark): Amvrosia recalls Moussaka (380g) due to undeclared soybean oil, milk, wheat and eggs.

Allergy Alert (Germany): CLAUS Reformwaren Service Team GmbH recalls PURAL – Bio Mais-Chips Natur Family (200g; Best by 11.06.2018) due to undeclared gluten.

Allergy Alert (Germany): FZ Organic Food recalls various Trafo brand Tortilla Chips due to undeclared gluten. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Allergy Alert (Germany): MAYKA Naturbackwaren GmbH recalls MAYKA Mais-Chips Paprika (125g; Best before 28.08.2018) due to undeclared gluten.

Food Safety Recall (Denmark): Lidl Danmark K/S recalls Sondey Digestive Biscuits (400g; Best before 11.2018) due to possible presence of small, hard pieces of plastic.

Food Safety Recall (France): Layers recalls Layers Dried Figs (500g; Lot #090020881-11-362) due to elevated aflatoxin.

Food Safety Recall (Finland): Lidl Suomi Ky recalls Sondey Digestive Biscuits (400g; Best before 11.2018) due to possible presence of small, hard pieces of plastic.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Wewalka GmbH Nfg. KG recalls chef select Blätterteig / Puff Pastry (275g; Best before 08.03.2018; Product of Austria) because the product may contain metal fragments.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): CULTIMER FRANCE – MOULE D’ARMOR recalls various Normandy Oysters due to possible Norovirus contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Handelsgesellschaft mbH recalls RM Import Juicy Dates (400g; Best before 10.06.2018 and 28.01.2018) due to possible Hepatitis A contamination. The recalled dates may be associated with several cases of Hepatitis A infections in Denmark.

Food Safety Recall (Ireland): Quorn recalls Chilled Quorn Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice (400g; Use by 1 March 2018, 2 March 2018 and 3 March 2018) because the product may contain pieces of flexible rubber.

Food Safety Recall (UK): Quorn recalls Chilled Quorn Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice (400g; Use by 1 March 2018, 2 March 2018 and 3 March 2018) because the product may contain pieces of flexible rubber.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Food Safety Recall (Israel): Shamli recalls Shamli Bulgarian meatballs (1 kg; Best by 11.3.2018) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Australia and New Zealand

Allergy Alert (Australia): Jasper and Myrtle extend their earlier recall to include Jasper + Myrtle bean to bar handmade dark chocolate PNG 66%, PNG 80%, Peru 66%, Nunu Black Opal, Wakame & Rock Salt,  Spice Rum, Espresso, Brandy and Orange, Ginger and Coconut 70G (All best before dates) due to undeclared milk, tree nuts, sesame and seaweed.

FDA, state investigate Darwin’s pet food after illnesses, death

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The Food and Drug Administration and the Washington State Department of Agriculture are investigating what FDA describes as a “pattern of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes contamination in raw pet foods manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc.”

FDA has received a total of six complaints of illness in animals who were fed the raw pet foods, including the death of one kitten. Salmonella recovered from the kitten was indistinguishable from the Salmonella found in a closed package of Darwin’s food from the same lot that was fed to the animal, according to the agency.

People who handle contaminated pet food and anything it touches, including counter tops, utensils and pet bowls, are at risk of contracting infections from pathogens such as Salmonella. Infected pets, which don’t always show symptoms, can transfer Salmonella infection to people.

In addition to the reports of sick pets, FDA reports it is aware of at least three animals that were reported to have been injured by bone shards in Darwin’s pet food.

Arrow Reliance Inc., doing business as Darwin’s Natural Pet Food, issued the latest in a series of recall notices on Saturday.

The company notified its customers of the recall by emails sent only to those customers who purchased the recalled products. No public recall notice was issued, company officials told the FDA, because they only sell products online through direct-to-customer sales.

Included in the Saturday recall were:

  • ZooLogics Chicken Meals for Dogs, 2-pound, with the lot number 41567, and  manufacture date of Nov. 2, 2017; and
  • ZooLogics Duck Meals for Dogs, 2-pound, lot number 41957, and manufacture date of Nov 16, 2017.

Since October 2016, the company has recalled a total of nine batches of its Natural Selections and Zoologics brands of Meals for Dogs and Meals for Cats, including four batches of its Natural Selections brand of Meals for Dogs recalled on Dec. 4, 2017.

Shortly after the December 2017 recall, one of Darwin’s customers learned that her German Shepherd, Blitz, had become infected with Salmonella. Judy, who asked that her last name not be published, registered a formal complaint with FDA.

Follow-up testing of Blitz by FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network confirmed that the dog was infected with Salmonella. In addition, lab analysis of closed packages of Darwin’s pet food obtained by FDA from Judy on Jan. 24 found Salmonella in the product.

“Darwin’s told me it was safe to feed Blitz the (ZooLogics) food because it wasn’t on the recall list they were dealing with back in November/December. Now, three to four months later, they tell me that the same food they assured is safe to eat now has Salmonella,” Judy told Food Safety News.

FDA has conducted two inspections of Darwin’s manufacturing facility since mid-2016. The first was completed on June 30, 2016, and the second on May 31, 2017, according to information received in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Both inspections were classified “No Action Indicated.”

Darwin’s first series of product recalls encompassed three lots of Meals for Dogs manufactured on July 20, July 21 and July 25 in 2016, less than one month following the June 2016 inspection. The company next recalled one batch of Meals for Cats, manufactured on June 1, 2017, one day after the completion of the 2017 FDA inspection.

Based on information received in response to the FOIA request, it does not appear that FDA conducted an inspection following the Meals for Cats recall.

FDA advice to consumers
Consumers should not feed their pets recalled lots of raw pet food manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc. Consumers who purchased this raw pet food should throw it away. People who think they or their pets have become ill from exposure to contaminated raw pet food should talk to their health care providers or veterinarians.

Consumers who had the recalled Darwin’s products in their homes should clean their refrigerator and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.

Animals can shed the bacteria when they have bowel movements, so it’s particularly important to clean up animal feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.

Pet owners who opt to feed their pets a raw diet should consult FDA’s “Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness from Raw Pet Food.”

Salmonella infection symptoms in people can include diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated raw pet food should contact their veterinarians. Veterinarians who wish to have dogs tested for Salmonella may do so through the Vet-LIRN Network if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.

The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about this and other pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

 

This article first appeared on Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission.