Pet food company, Evanger’s, which recently recalled its Hunk of Beef canned dog food and Against the Grain brand pulled beef canned dog food due to contamination with pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to euthanize animals, has now admitted that the recalled food contained horse DNA.
In a letter to customers dated February 21, 2017, Evanger’s explained that after the discovery of pentobarbital, the FDA tested the Hunk of Beef product and confirmed that the only ingredient was beef. However, because pentobarbital is almost never used for cows, Evanger’s said they moved forward with their own investigation and found through genetic species identification that the Hunk of Beef product contained equine, or horse, DNA along with bovine, or beef, DNA.
On one hand, the presence of horse DNA provides an explanation for why pentobarbital was present as the drug is commonly used to euthanize horses. It doesn’t explain why horse meat was found in a can meant to only contain 100% beef.
In response to their findings, Evanger’s plans to recall all remaining cans of their Hunk of Beef product, all cans of Braised Beef Chunks with Gravy (not previously involved in the recall), and all Against the Grain brand Pulled Beef canned dog foods.
Although the company manufactures food for multiple pet food brands, they continue to assure customers that no other brands or flavors are affected, that the meat used in the products named above was purchased exclusively for Evanger’s and Against the Grain brands.