& dog daycares throughout the USA."> Locate pet sitters, dog walkers, dog runners, & dog daycares throughout the USA.

FDA orders Evangers pet food to obtain emergency permit

by Therese on April 25, 2008

in Random Thoughts

Due to manufacturing processes that could result in under-processed foods, the FDA has ordered Evangers Pet Food to obtain an emergency permit.

From the FDA

FDA Orders Pet Food Maker to Obtain Emergency Operating Permit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an order requiring that Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co., Inc., in Wheeling, Ill., obtain an emergency permit from the FDA before its canned pet food products enter interstate commerce.

A recent inspection revealed significant deviations from prescribed documentation of processes, equipment, and recordkeeping in the production of the company’s thermally processed low acid canned food (LACF) products. These problems 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.

“As outlined in the Food Protection Plan, the FDA uses a risk-based approach to locate the areas of greatest risk for foods, and targets preventive controls and inspections to those areas, ” said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “The FDA’s authority to issue an order requiring an emergency permit is an enforcement tool designed to prevent unsafe foods from reaching consumers.”

The FDA issues an “Order of Need for Emergency Permit” if the agency determines that a company fails to meet the regulatory requirements to process a product that does not present a health risk. For Evanger’s to resume business, 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.

In light of human botulism illnesses and recalls that occurred due to under-processed hot dog chili sauce, and potentially under-processed canned green beans, FDA has urged all LACF processors to review their operations and the apply scientific principals and regulations that have been established to provide a safe product.

While FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has authority over animal feed and foods, CFSAN is responsible for regulating all human and animal LACF processing. The two centers are collaborating on this enforcement action.

Evanger’s has this to say on their website…

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.

Read the rest here.

Technorati Tags: , ,

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

JOEL SHER April 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm

The FDA news release that this article copied is highly innacurate and misleading. Evangers DOG and CAT Food co. is not under emergency permit and is currently manufacturing and distributing its high quality products worldwide with FDA approval.There have been no allegations of unsafe product or requests for any recalls. Please go to http://WWW.EVANGERSDOGFOOD.COM for company statement.
THANK YOU JOEL SHER V.P. ENANGERS

Reply

Virtual Pet April 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I think its so important for the FDA to get this right. All of our animals are at risk. However, my confidence in their abilities to govern this properly is pretty low.

Reply

Angela Bostetter April 27, 2008 at 11:28 am

I agree Virtual Pet. Thanks for posting Joel, that shows your concern for your customers. I have complete confidence in your food despite what people may be saying because I’ve heard of this happening to other companies that have actually been in compliance, much like you are. My dog will continue to eat Evanger’s!

Reply

Me April 28, 2008 at 7:27 am

I am not risking my dogs life while Evangers and the FDA sort this out. I recently ordered several cases of Evangers canned food and I am returning them ALL. Back to home cooking for me. Evangers was my LAST shot at finding a dog food company I trusted. I now trust them LESS because they are acting like this is no big thing. They have NOT addressed the botuslism claims on their website and I am surely NOT risking my dogs life. I find these very serious ‘claims’ and I am contacting the Rabbinical folks because I find this UNACCEPTABLE.

Reply

JOEL SHER April 29, 2008 at 5:42 pm

TO ME said,
We at Evangers did not address the botulism because it has no bearing on our plant. Please read the FDA release carefully. It does not state that there is any contamination associated with any Evanger products but does suggest that underprocessig of any canned food could result in botulism contamination. This is a boiler plate response by the FDA in any situation when it refers to canning. If the FDA had believed that there was even the slightest possibility of product contamination they would have demanded a recall. You will note that there is no mention of that in there release.The CRC has no input as to processing. They only inspect the ingredients. As I indicated prviously, the FDA s release is innacurate and misleading. It is unfortunate that whoever is in charge of posting these releases does not take the time to report accuratley the facts. The way the FDA reported this event is a big thing, the observation that FDA made and questioned concerning recordkeeping is not that big of a thing. It happens all the time and companies such as ours respond and make adjustments and move on. THANK YOU JOEL SHER

Reply

Bridgett April 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm

“A recent inspection revealed significant deviations from prescribed documentation of processes, equipment, and recordkeeping in the production of the company’s thermally processed low acid canned food (LACF) products. These problems 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.”

This statement indicates to me that there was more than a recordkeeping problem. There are problems with processes and equipment? That isn’t just recordkeeping.

Reply

kaffe April 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Thank you for responding to our concerns Joel. But until this issue is played out and is resolved, I will not be feeding any cans from Evangers. My pets rely on my due diligence.

Reply

Ann H April 30, 2008 at 3:04 pm

“the observation that FDA made and questioned concerning recordkeeping is not that big of a thing.”

What about the “other issues” the FDA based their notice on? Those don’t appear to be simply record keeping, but processing & personnel issues.

While we all can appreciate your problem, you as a company and us as consumers know that the FDA cannot force a recall and can only ask a company to do one.

Have you tested any of the finished goods to ascertain whether there is a botulism problem or not? If so, what products did you test?

Has TechniCal tested any goods finished prior to their taking over supervision of the process for botulism?

Reply

YesBiscuit! April 30, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Joel Sher says: “We at Evangers did not address the botulism because it has no bearing on our plant.”

If by “no bearing” you mean a significant enough concern that the FDA ordered Evanger’s to obtain an emergency permit in order to maintain operations – I would say your words are misleading. As is your implying that if anything was seriously wrong at Evanger’s, the FDA would have demanded a recall. The FDA has no authority to order recalls of pet foods.

What exactly is inaccurate in the FDA news release?

Reply

Sandi May 2, 2008 at 10:11 am

Mr. Sher, while you obviously like to discredit FDA and their actions, I am very, very pleased that they came forward with this action and potentially prevented more deaths and illnesses in our pets. This is exactly what we, the consumer, have been wanting FDA to do and I hope they continue with more inspections of your facilities as well as other pet food facilities. The pet food companies want to be able to continue on with business as normal after the 2007 pet food recalls and its obvious by your statements that the companies dont feel they should be monitored or inspected. Your attitude towards FDA and the recent findings at your plant show the exact reason why pet food companies should not be allowed to police themselves and I will be making my feelings very clear at the upcoming FDA Pet Food Safety hearing this month.

I might add that I contacted FDA myself for clarification on this issue at your plant. They have confirmed exactly what their notice said, plus some additional details that werent specifically stated in their notice. So perhaps the pet food companies can stop pointing the finger of blame at others and just take responsibility for issues that are self-created. That would be a good start in winning back the confidence of the consumer.

Reply

Mike Morgan May 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Apparently, however, if you carefully read the press release, it’s basically saying that because Evangers didn’t have some records and paperwork filled out properly, the FDA can’t guarantee that their foods are safe. This doesn’t mean they found botulism or saw any unsafe practices or even that they physically examined any product. It just means that their paperwork wasn’t in order. There’s no recall and apparently not even a followup investigation of the product that one would expect if there were a genuine problem that was detected.

Admittedly, one would hope for a food company to have all their “i’s” dotted and their “t’s” crossed, but I don’t think this ranks as one of the most shocking pet food bloopers out there.

So who has done their research. As a college student, I feel that I am good at this. I have came to the conclusion that the FDA has acted in an irresponsible manner, like they have done in the past, at Evanger’s expense.

Reply

Therese May 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Interesting comment, Mike. You’re right that this isn’t one of the biggest “pet bloopers”, as you call it. However, if it were just a matter of paperwork that pet food companies weren’t completing properly, pet owners wouldn’t react to things like this the way they do. During the pet food recall, pet owners got a crash course on the pet food industry, and much of it isn’t pretty. Many of us have learned to question just about everything when it comes to pet food.

I have to wonder if the pet food recall affected you personally. I think it’s great that you’re a college student and that you know how to do research, but are you a pet owner as well? People lost pets due to contaminated food, others are still nursing along pets who have health issues as a result. Many pet owners did a vast amount of research during the recall (and still are!) in an attempt to find food they feel is safe to feed their pets. So although there may not be any dead pets due to the FDA/Evangers issue, many pet owners do take this type of thing seriously.

Who’s at fault here…The FDA…Evangers…perhaps both? It’s hard to say definitively, but pet owners are paying attention, and are entitled to information that may affect their pets’ health. What each person does with that information is an individual decision. Some, like you, may feel this is no big deal while others apparently feel it’s not worth the risk.

Reply

Offy May 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Mike, wow. Same identical post I’ve read elsewhere. I assume that you are also “Investigator” posting in Itchmo and are acting on behalf of Evanger’s.

Forgive me, but I’ll post my response to you here, also.

Since you feel you did your research, I feel I must point you to Evanger’s Release April 25th and done again on May 5th by the public relations spin doctor, Rebecca Therm, who released the same document. (Side note: Rebecca Therm did a post elsewhere and failed to mention cat food at all. Is there a problem with the cat food? All she said was “dog food”, and since she’s an “expert” should we seriously be afraid??)

If you will note this sentence in the release – paragraph #1: “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.” (**emphasis mine)

You can easily see that we’re actually paying closer attention than you would like.

I can appreciate that the Evanger’s spin doctors are focusing on a tiny section of the FDA release to downplay the seriousness of botulism, which, if you have done your research – kills.

Since Evanger’s opts for that route and choses to not release any test data or statement from the processing authority that is getting their foods released for them, it seems that to bolster their credibility some testing results from independant labs would assist them accomplish their goals from random samples, either from stores or customers, that there was indeed no need to fear botulism.

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

redux:

Mike I appreciate your viewpoint.

The FDA was contacted by a consumer and this is supplemental information. It apparently is more than paperwork. There were other issues. In fact, the Evanger’s posts & releases state “other issues”.

Processing is not paperwork. It is how you produce it. Not venting the retorts is not paperwork, it is the actual process. Temperatures different on 2 devices – is not paperwork.

Quote from FDA :

The firm had serious deviations form the mandatory provisions of 21 CFR parts 108 and 113, including lack of documentation of process adequacy and lack of processing filing with FDA for most of their processes. The firm was operating the retorts improperly (not venting), failing to record critical process information including initial temperatures, temperature recording devices were recording temperatures higher than the mercury-in glass thermometers. The firm’s retort supervisors had not attended the required training schools. As correctly stated in the press release, the firm is operating under an Order of Need for Emergency Permit, which means it cannot introduce or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce any of its low–acid canned pet food. The regulation does allow the firm to have a processing authority evaluate the processing of each lot for adequacy and to submit release requests in writing to FDA for specific lots.

End Quote

Reply

YesBiscuit! May 6, 2008 at 10:25 am

Mike Morgan says: “There’s no recall and apparently not even a followup investigation of the product that one would expect if there were a genuine problem that was detected.”

The FDA is understaffed and underfunded. They are aware of all the toxic foods and medicines we have imported from China and yet still are only inspecting 1% of imports. If they had more staff and funding, I imagine they’d use it to increase those inspections so less people get sick and die. I doubt they have the resources to do follow up investigations on Evanger’s or any of the pet food plants – even the ones that had to recall their melamine/cyanuric acid tainted feed. And the FDA doesn’t have authority to demand recalls of any Evanger’s product. That would be done on a voluntary basis if Evanger’s decided to do so.

Reply

Carol May 9, 2008 at 11:44 am

Mike Morgan says “Apparently, however, if you carefully read the press release, it’s basically saying that because Evangers didn’t have some records and paperwork filled out properly, the FDA can’t guarantee that their foods are safe.”

Even IF this does prove to be the ONLY issue at hand, to me it is a huge problem as if this important paperwork was not done properly, what else may have not been done properly. I am glad this is now public. It is time that any issue, no matter how “insignificant” the company may feel it is, does make its way to the consumer who buys the product for their pet.

Reply

Angela Bostetter May 16, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for your post Mr. Morgan. I appreciate that you are posting on behalf of young pet owners (I’m assuming you own a pet). I have been the mother to my Maxie for three years, and started her on an unnamed dry kibble that was recommended to me by the vet. She had a terrible skin reaction to the food, and after doing my research I switched to Evanger’s Chicken kibble, as well as the cans for a treat. Maxie’s skin reaction has completely disappeared, and I am confident that it’s because of the Evanger’s products I have been feeding her. I did my reasearch when I switched, and continue to do so throughout this FDA investigation. One thing that really sticks out in my mind about this company is that everything is sourced in the USA, which indicates to me that the ingredients they are using are also going through inspections on the suppliers behalf, as well as at Evanger’s. Therefore, it is to my belief that this is an FDA misunderstanding because I, like all of you, have seen this happen with companies before.

Surely there will be another investigation by the FDA and we will all be positively shocked to see that the company has done everything it can to perfect its recordkeeping to their standards. We should be thankful that the company has the opportunity to produce an even better product, although as it stated, the FDA had no problem with the actual food itself.

Reply

lesliek May 17, 2008 at 11:30 pm

I appreciate & understand people wanting to see all sides of a possible problem.IMHO 1 of their dry dog foods caused illness in 1 of my dogs & similar symptoms in my other 2 & 2 friends dogs. Anyone concerned about this issue may want to review the complaints,commentary,photos & again IMHO the outragious customer service practices . There are things you should look at on itchmoforums ,the bostonterrier site,consumeraffairs & hubpages.

Reply

Cristin Goetz June 5, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I have been using Evangers for rescued cats and wildlife without any problems.

We lost one of our dogs during the last recall so I am acutely (possibly over the edge) aware of what is going on in the pet food industry.

It is my understanding after speaking to an Evangers’ rep that this is a bookkeeping type of problem – they can 24 hours a day and the night shift for whatever reason, did not change the date when they canned a new batch at 1 a.m.

Currently, I have wildlife and kittens eating Evangers without any problem. If anything changes,, I will be the first to post.

Reply

Sandi June 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Cristin, I lost a cat to the 2007 pet food recalls and I can tell you this, I contacted FDA directly and it was not just a simple bookeeping problem. Did you call FDA to get both sides of the story? Quote from FDA :

The firm had serious deviations form the mandatory provisions of 21 CFR parts 108 and 113, including lack of documentation of process adequacy and lack of processing filing with FDA for most of their processes. The firm was operating the retorts improperly (not venting), failing to record critical process information including initial temperatures, temperature recording devices were recording temperatures higher than the mercury-in glass thermometers. The firm’s retort supervisors had not attended the required training schools. As correctly stated in the press release, the firm is operating under an Order of Need for Emergency Permit, which means it cannot introduce or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce any of its low–acid canned pet food. The regulation does allow the firm to have a processing authority evaluate the processing of each lot for adequacy and to submit release requests in writing to FDA for specific lots.
End Quote

Reply

lesliek May 6, 2009 at 8:23 am

I had trouble with Evangers food making my 3 dogs sick also & was contacted by the OCI [office of criminal investigations for the FDA] yesterday. They are very interestd in speaking to anyone who has had a problem with any brand Evangers makes.They don’t want their names & # listed publically,but you could call the FDA about it or send me a message at http://www.Itchmoforums.com . I can give you their info or take yours & pass it on to them.They have had problems with their reinspections again, so if you are feeding anything they make this might be a good time to switch.

Reply

Carol June 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm166265.htm
hmmm.. Wonder what Joel and Holly have to say now…

Reply

Carol June 13, 2009 at 8:32 am

So what is preventing Evangers from still producing food now and then when the “okay” comes down the line–selling the stockpiled food? FDA can not stop that I do not think! Very scary … some “food” for thought!

Reply

Lisa B June 16, 2009 at 4:37 am

I don’t understand why if you have a year to get things right with the FDA. You think you would have better paperwork. I used Evangers All Fresh Vegatain. I found beef in it. They said they didn’t clean out the machine before making a new batch. If I wanted beef i buy the beef. I think that wrong. I won’t be wrong again.

Reply

Carol June 16, 2009 at 7:54 am

Well, if it is “just paperwork”, the proof is in the paperwork in a number of important areas…For one example, a hospital could be shut down or fined not because of not taking proper care of ill people, but because the appropriate paperwork is not kept..and I would not want to be a patient at that hospital…No different for me with a pet food company…

Reply

Curious George June 16, 2009 at 9:44 am

Carol is so right. If a company can’t prove that food, medicine, etc. is safe, the assumption is made that it’s not safe.

Does anyone remember the old days when people actually got botulism from commercially canned foods? That’s why these rules were created. Then we started seeing it again after 30 years and it was caused by cutting corners in manufacturing. (See green beans and chili.) Botulism is a horrible disease! It’s a neurotoxin-producing bacteria. People have died from it, been permanently disabled by it, been hospitalized for a month from it. This isn’t a week of diarrhea from Salmonella.

It looks like Evanger’s hasn’t cleaned up their act in over a year. We’ve all found out from other recalls that these businesses are cutting corners to increase their profits. The behavior of this company is reprehensible. Those rules are in place for our (and our pets) protection.

“Just paperwork.” Poo!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: