Evanger’s has voluntarily recalled specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product due to potential contamination with the deadly drug, pentobarbital.
I just spoke to Evanger’s. To say the situation is a bit bazaar could be considered an understatement. Both the FDA and Michigan State labs are involved in the testing, but so far the results have not been put on official record. There have been no other reports of sick pets anywhere other than the one household. That specific lot of Hunk of Beef has been independently tested and found free from contaminant.
As a precaution, we will recall all Evanger’s Hunk of Beef, but it appears that the whole issue may be very isolated. We do not receive our Evanger’s from any of the distributors that would have received this lot of Hunk of Beef. Even now after two weeks of testing, we have not received the official test results for concentrations of pentobarbital nor do we have any idea if the drug was found in any unopened cans. Initial reports by independent labs found no contaminants. At this point I’m not especially concerned that any other dogs will be involved, but the exact cause has not been determined. So stay tuned. We haven’t heard the last of this situation.
Many of you are likely asking how pentobarbital could get into a can of food. At this point, I can only make assumptions, none of which are based on any concrete facts. Since we don’t know we need to react with caution. I’m shocked, quite honestly, but we have to react based on what we know. The original tests, undertaken by independent laboratories at the request of Evanger’s, returned nothing. Next we need to determine the origin of the cans. Were the cans tampered with? Had they already been opened prior to purchase? Also, it’s worth noting that cans of Hunk of Beef are hand-packed. I wouldn’t entirely rule out an individual act of malice. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to investigate every angle.
I will contact the lab that found the pentobarbital directly to determine their testing procedures and I will update this post when I know more. Our customers will definitely be kept apprised of the situation. I would also like to avoid immediate consumer hysteria — and I’ve said it before — but nothing has shown up in any other can of Hunk of Beef. I will also verify that none of the cans from the batch in question migrated east through our distributors. Food contaminations are difficult to trace, but eventually we’ll connect all the dots. I know the right questions to ask and I’ll keep on top of it.