FDA, Smucker don’t agree on which dog foods have been pulled

The Food and Drug Administration alerted pet owners Friday about potential pentobarbital contamination in several brands of dog foods manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Co.

The warning came after a media outlet reported the results of a study that found low levels of pentobarbital in some samples of Gravy Train canned dog food. The drug is used to euthanize animals.

Based on the testing results provided to FDA, the agency has made a preliminary evaluation that the level of pentobarbital found in the samples is “unlikely to post a health risk for pets.”

However, the presence of pentobarbital at any level in pet food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and FDA therefore is investigating the potential source and route of contamination.

Smucker responded to the findings of the private study by initiating a voluntary business-to-business withdrawal of certain Gravy Train, Kibbles ’N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy branded canned dog food from retailer warehouses.

According to FDA, the list of affected products (shown below) includes all lots of the specified products manufactured from 2016 through the present. The products were distributed to retailers across the USA.

A comparison of the FDA list to a list of 27 products provided to Food Safety News Thursday by a Smucker spokesperson reveals significant differences.

While all 18 products on the FDA list were included in the Smucker information, several Gravy Train, Skippy and Kibbles ’N Bits products named by the company were absent from the FDA list.

“Out of a desire to inform consumers quickly, earlier this week we published a list of products that included the ingredient that could have contained extremely low levels of pentobarbital, regardless of whether the products were manufactured during the withdrawal timeframe. The FDA chose to focus on products made within a specific timeframe,” a Smucker spokesperson told Food Safety News.

FDA is aware of these differences and has requested clarification from Smucker regarding the status of the additional products, according to a statement added to the agency’s consumer alert notice several hours after its initial release.

Although Smucker has not initiated a consumer-level product recall, as of Friday, Target, Walmart, PetSmart and the Department of Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) have alerted their customers to the product withdrawals.

FDA advice to retailers, consumers
Retailers should remove the withdrawn pet food from their shelves and/or websites and contact the manufacturer for further instructions. If retailers have records to identify consumers who have purchased the withdrawn product, the FDA encourages those retailers to contact the consumers to alert about the product withdrawal.

Consumers should not feed their pets the withdrawn lots of canned dog food. Consumers who purchased these products should safely dispose of the cans and/or contact the Sucker company for information about returning the products.

Consumers who think their pets may be ill from eating food contaminated with pentobarbital should contact their veterinarians immediately.

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.

In addition to certain Skippy and Kibbles ‘n’ Bits dog foods, the Smucker Co. is pulling Gravy Train and Ol’ Roy brands.

Canned dog food listed by the FDA as being included in the market withdrawal are:

  • Gravy Train with T-Bone Flavor Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052541
  • Gravy Train with Beef Strips, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 791052542
  • Gravy Train with Lamb & Rice Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052543
  • Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034418
  • Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
  • Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051645
  • Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051647
  • Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010377, 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Bistro Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Homestyle Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010382, 7910048367, 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010380, 7910010377, 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010380
  • Ol’ Roy Strips Turkey Bacon, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 8113117570
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 79100502469
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050250
  • Skippy Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050245

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