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February 21, 2018

The J.M. Smucker’s Company has withdrawn more than 30 UPC item codes across four brands from store shelves after they tested positive for pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug. Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy all had specific shipments recalled.

Pet Age confirmed the withdraw with a Gravy Train customer relations representative, who also pointed out that this is not a recall—Smucker’s chose to withdraw because the food did not meet its own standards.

“We recently were notified of an issue with a small number of our pet food brands. We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused,” Smucker’s wrote on its Facebook page. “We are extremely disappointed to have learned that pentobarbital was introduced to our supply chain. Its presence at any level is not acceptable to us and not up to our quality standards. We are still investigating this situation, and we have narrowed the focus of our investigation to a single supplier and a single ingredient used at one of our pet food manufacturing facilities. We are committed to taking the appropriate steps to ensure this does not occur again.”

The post then directed people to the Gravy Train website where the following was posted:

Above all, we are a company that loves pets and understands the responsibility we have in providing high quality food for the pets our consumers love.

Veterinarians and animal nutrition specialists, as well as the FDA, have confirmed that extremely low levels of pentobarbital, like the levels referenced in this report, do not pose a threat to pet safety. However, the presence of this substance at any level is not acceptable to us and not up to our quality standards. We sincerely apologize for the concern this has caused.

Out of an abundance of caution we initiated a voluntary withdrawal on specific shipments of Gravy Train canned/wet dog food because they do not meet our quality specifications.

Please know our internal investigation into this situation is ongoing. We take this very seriously and are extremely disappointed that pentobarbital was introduced to our supply chain. We have narrowed the focus of our investigation to a single supplier and a single, minor ingredient, used at one manufacturing facility. We will take the appropriate steps to ensure this does not occur again.

We will continue to work closely with our suppliers and veterinarians to ensure the ingredients used in our products meet or exceed all regulatory safety standards and our high-quality standards. We are committed to ensuring pet owners can continue to feel confident that they are making the best decision for their pets when they choose our brand.

If you have questions, please call us at 800-828-9980 or email us here.

The Kibbles ‘N Bits site had a similar notice and listed all the company’s withdrawn products:

 

Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks 7910052541
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips 7910052542
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks 7910052543
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910051645
Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910051647
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks 7910034417
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks 7910034418
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew 7910051933
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley 7910051934
Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks 7910034417
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts in Gravy with Beef & Bone Marrow 7910071860
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts with Burgers & Cheese Bits 7910050243
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Smoky Turkey & Bacon 7910050246
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef & Chicken 7910050247
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 Chicken, Beef & Liver 7910050248
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew 7910050249
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Chicken 7910050244
Skippy 13.2 oz, Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef 7910050250
Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef 7910050245
Ol’ Roy 13.2 oz Turkey Bacon Strips 8113117570
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack 7910010377

7910010378

Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Var. Pack 7910010382

7910048367
7910010378

Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack 7910010380

7910010377
7910010375

Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack 7910010375
Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy 7910010375

7910048367

Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy 7910010380
Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy 7910010378

 

The sites then had these FAQs:

What should I do with the Gravy Train wet dog food I have at home now?

Although veterinarians and animal nutrition specialists, as well as the FDA, have confirmed that extremely low levels of pentobarbital do not pose a threat to pet safety, we understand you may have concerns. Please contact us 800-828-9980 or via email here.

Are you removing this product from stores?

Out of an abundance of caution we initiated a voluntary withdrawal on specific shipments of Gravy Train canned/wet dog food from the warehouses of our retail partners because they do not meet our quality specifications.

What do I do if I suspect my pet has become ill because of this issue?

If your pet is ill or if you have concerns about your pet’s health for any reason, we recommend you consult your veterinarian. Veterinarians and animal nutrition specialists, as well as the FDA, have confirmed that extremely low levels of the substance in question do not pose a threat to pet safety.

Do you use 3D or 4D meat (euthanized animals/pets) in your pet food?

No. We do not use 3D or 4D meat such as dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals.

 

The FDA announced on February 16 that it was launching an investigation into the potential contamination and alerted pet owners about the contamination.

“The FDA’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,” the organization said in its release to consumers. “The FDA is monitoring for reports of any pet illnesses associated with pentobarbital contamination in these products. Consumers can report complaints about this and other pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.”

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