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Corrected Post: Nature’s Variety Does “Voluntary Recall” of Two of Its Freeze-Dried Pet Foods


naturesvarietyrecallMy dog, Benny, eats Nature’s Variety Lamb Raw Frozen Diet, so I was alarmed to find this news and guess you will be too if your pet eats Nature’s Variety.

Nature’s Variety says “These products do not represent a health hazard to your pet.” So then, why are they being recalled?

UPDATE: I have just gotten a call from a PR representative from Nature’s Variety, who says that Evanger’s does not manufacture Nature’s Variety’s recalled freeze-dried products. When I asked him why the products were “voluntarily recalled,” he said:
“I cannot explain why they are withdrawing the foods. Because of certain proprietary information, I cannot say. I am not at liberty to say what the problem is.” When I told him that I would quote him on that, he said he “didn’t recall saying it” and would deny it. Uh huh.

I asked him to find someone in the company who can explain why the products have been recalled. After all, recalling a product is not something that companies do frivolously. I am awaiting further information.

In the meantime, I received an email asking me to retract the post. I have now corrected what the PR person claims is wrong information, and will be happy to report on the actual cause of the recall when that information is given to me.

The email says, in part:
” You seem to have mistakenly combined the Evangers FDA mandated recall and the Nature’s Variety voluntary withdrawal of 2 lots of its freeze dried raw pet food as one issue. The issues are completely separate and any assertion otherwise is completely inaccurate. In addition, the FDA has not mandated any action from Nature’s Variety and the botulism concerns you’ve attributed to Nature’s Variety couldn’t be further from the truth.”

I certainly apologize if that is the case. I seem to have misunderstood got my information from Pet Connection Blog’s post, which reported the FDA sanction in the same post as the news about Nature’s Variety. There was one headline, “Nature’s Variety: They’re calling it a ‘product withdrawal”. If the two are not connected, I would hope that the post on Pet Connection Blog also will be clarified. Pet Connection Blog is a highly respected source of information about the pet food industry, and spear-headed the coverage about the pet food recalls last year.

The FDA, on the other hand, has suspended Nature’s Variety from shipping its products across state lines because of possible botulism contamination.

Pet Connection Blog reports that Nature’s Variety (manufactured by Evanger’s Pet Foods) is calling its suspension of two freeze-dried foods a voluntary withdrawal rather than a recall. However, the site reports that “the FDA suspended Illinois’ Evanger’s Pet Foods from being able to ship their products across state lines, due to several months of concerns that its processing procedures were not sufficient to prevent the growth of botulism in their foods.”

The FDA site states

“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.

…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.”

San Francisco’s Pet Food Express stores have suspended sales of Nature’s Variety products with direct ties to the freeze dried products, including:
* Prairie dry dog and cat food
* Instinct dry dog and cat food
* Raw Beef and Raw Chicken formulas

“This sales hold will continue until we receive satisfactory documentation of the problem that elicited the initial withdrawal and proof that all problems, if any, have been identified and corrected.”

Nature’s Variety website says:

Nature’s Variety recently identified two lots of Freeze Dried product that didn’t meet our quality standards. These products do not represent a health hazard to your pet. We have voluntarily withdrawn distribution of these specific products:

* Freeze Dried Raw Chicken Formula (UPC # 69949 60151) with a “best if used by” date of 05/25/10
* Freeze Dried Raw Beef Formula (UPC # 69949 60251) with a “best if used by” date of 05/25/10

Our distributor and retailer partners have kept control of these products, and because we retrieved these products so quickly, it is very unlikely that you purchased this batch of food. If, however, you believe you may have purchased one of these products, you may contact Nature’s Variety at 1.888.519.PETS (7387) for a full refund or replacement.

Add a Comment


Gina Spadafori

There’s nothing in error with the information on the PetConnection.com blog. The items are clearly separate, and were reported as such — two different actions by two different companies.

BL Ochman

thank you very much for your clarification. I thought it was one story because it had only one company in the headline.