The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today it was suspending the temporary Emergency Permit issued to Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co., Inc.
Evanger’s, operating in Wheeling, Illinois, deviated from the prescribed process, equipment, product shipment, and recordkeeping requirements in the production of the company’s thermally processed low acid canned food (LACF) products. The deviations in their processes and documentation could result in under-processed pet foods, which can allow the survival and growth of Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), a bacterium that causes botulism in some animals as well as in humans.
In April 2008, Evanger’s was issued an “Order of Need for Emergency Permit” after the agency determined that the company had failed to meet the regulatory requirements to process a product that does not present a health risk. In June, 2008, FDA issued Evanger’s a temporary Emergency Permit. During inspections conducted between March 2009 and April 2009, FDA determined Evanger’s was not operating in compliance with the mandatory requirements and conditions of the Temporary Emergency Permit.
“The FDA is stopping Evanger’s ability to ship pet food in interstate commerce,” said Dr. Bernadette Dunham. “Today’s enforcement action sends a strong message to manufacturers of pet food that we will take whatever action necessary to keep unsafe products from reaching consumers.”
In order for Evanger’s to resume shipping in interstate commerce, the company must document that corrective actions and processing procedures have been implemented to ensure that the finished product will not present a health hazard.
Botulism is a powerful toxin that affects the nervous system and can be fatal. The disease has been documented in dogs and cats. Signs of botulism in animals are progressive muscle paralysis, disturbed vision, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, and progressive weakness to the body. Death is usually due to paralysis of the heart or the muscles used in breathing.
While FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is responsible for regulating all human and animal LACF processing, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has authority over animal feed and foods. The two centers are collaborating on this enforcement action.
Evangers had word of the FDA investigation as of late April 2009; the following is a statement discovered ONLY this evening (June 12, 2009): http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/105522.php
Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company Responds To FDA News Release
As a result of a routine inspection of the Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company manufacturing facilities by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA recently raised questions regarding recordkeeping and other issues at the pet food producer’s facilities.
Contrary to a news release issued by the FDA Thursday, April 24, 2008, Evanger’s continues to make and distribute its products with FDA approval. Evanger’s is working closely with the FDA and already has addressed many of the FDA’s questions. Evanger’s expects to have the few remaining FDA queries fully satisfied shortly.
No Evanger’s product has been recalled, nor is there any indication that any Evanger’s product is under-processed, unsafe, or contaminated in any way.
“As our customers, retailers and distributors know, Evanger’s takes the quality and safety of its pet foods very seriously,” said Holly Sher, president of Evanger’s. “Evanger’s has a long history of using only human-grade ingredients in our products. The FDA has not called into question the wholesomeness of any ingredient we use. We are confident Evanger’s products continue to be safe, wholesome and natural, so confident that we continue to feed them daily to our own pets.”
All ingredients in Evanger’s products are sourced in the United States and all manufacturing is done in its suburban Chicago facility. The routine FDA inspection was related only to Evanger’s canned foods and did not cover production of its dry pet food products.
As the United States’ oldest natural pet food company, Evanger’s products are known for their human-grade ingredients, including hand-packed meats, fish and poultry, and 100% meat and organic meals. Consumers and distributors may contact Evanger’s customer service department at (800) 288-6796 for further information. In addition, all new or updated information will be immediately posted to the company’s Website, www.evangersdogfood.com.
ABOUT EVANGER’S DOG & CAT FOOD CO., INC.
Established in 1935, EVANGER’S Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. is the oldest natural dog food company in the United States. Today, the suburban Chicago company is as innovative as when Fred Evanger first founded it, producing a wide array of human-grade dog and cat food dinners and supplements.
Communicating with Evangers as a potential pet owner (due to Petsumer Report reviews for July), I sent several emails to Evangers over the past two weeks (since the above little seen press release). Interestingly, my email questions (for Petsumer Report) were answered by the Graphic Designer of Evangers. That was a first for me. The Graphic Designer attempted to allude my questions (quality of protein, quality control practices, ect) however, I insisted someone answer my questions. Surprisingly (perhaps not now after this FDA shut down of Evangers shipping pet food), the Graphic Designer, not a pet food Customer Service Representative, answered my questions).
If you or a pet owner you know feeds this pet food, please alert them to this latest issue.