Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Evanger's Update

Last April, I alerted readers to a safety warning issued by FDA regarding Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company, Inc. According to the FDA news release, the agency had noted "... 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."

Over the months, several readers have posted comments to that April article – some of them raising questions about Evanger's current status. Two days ago, we contacted Holly Sher, President of Evanger's, for her take on the situation. Holly replied with the following statement:

"At Evanger’s we take every customer comment and question seriously. In fact, as not only the president of Evanger’s but a true animal lover, I personally take customers calls to get feedback on the products and to get to know our customers. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify a few critical points:

1. No Evanger’s product has ever been recalled, nor is there any indication that any Evanger’s product is under-processed, unsafe, or contaminated in any way. The notice from the FDA this past spring has been cleared and was a result of mishandled paperwork.
2. All ingredients in Evanger’s products are sourced in the United States and all manufacturing is done in our suburban Chicago facility, where I work every day only a few feet away. We purchase the majority of our ingredients locally including produce at the very same distributor of some of the top five-star Chicago restaurants.
In closing, please know that I stand by our products and procedures. My dogs and cats are fed the very same Evanger’s product that we ship out. I truly appreciated the opportunity to get this information out.
Thank you again,
Holly Sher, President of Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food"

When contacted by eFoodAlert, Laura Alvey, Deputy Director of Communications Staff for FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, confirmed that Evanger's "... is now operating in full compliance with applicable FDA regulations."

FDA urges consumers who want to report any problems or adverse reactions relating to animal foods to contact the agency's district office complaint coordinators


  1. Wow! The FDA will go after a 5-star company like Evangers (I have used this food myself since the 07' recall, and also have spoken to Holly personally regarding their food), and mishandle the paperwork, but not deal with the problem the FDA themselves are in violation concerning 4-D meat! The FDA has proven with its own study that the chemical used to euthanize animals is present in some pet foods, indicating that 4-D meat (diseased, dying, down and dead) meat is used in the processing (usually foods from rendering processing), which is a clear violation of law put forth by the FDA! Why don't they do something about that? Letter after letter, after phone call, after phone have gone to them and our other US government representatives pointing this violation out....in vain. Nothing is ackowledged, nothing is done. But they'll put out this phone # for "complaints." They'll go after companies like Evangers who are producing some of the cream-of-the-crop pet foods on the market. Not to mention they'll go after supplement and herb companies who are providing "real" natural products that do nothing but help people stay healthy, unlike the the Big Pharm companies who get a get-out-of-jail-free card from the FDA, but want people to stay sick...so that they can stay rich.
    The FDA have a lot of nerve I tell ya.

  2. doggles, there are several reported cases of dogs being treated for botulism symptoms after eating Evanger's canned food. Evanger's staff is all over the internet denying that the company was operating on an emergency license, which was documented on the FDA's site. I posted on my blog about the suspension of the emergency license, and someone who writes Evanger's blog commented saying that they don't know where the information came from, but it's not true, and I should call Evanger's to get "the truth" instead of relying on "internet speculation"...even though I gave the link to the FDA's announcment on their site.

    I also reported a problem with canned food to Evanger's, and so did a friend of mine. Both of us found grain in the canned game meats, which are not supposed to contain any grain, and both our dogs are allergic to grain. She also found chunks of plastic in the canned game meats, which is when she gave up and stopped feeding Evanger's.

    I know the two of us reported problems to Evanger's, but they keep saying that no problems have been reported with their food, which I know to be a lie.

    Not a good way to handle negative publicity, Evanger's folks.

  3. Thanks Indy, I've read through all the posts here regarding Evangers. I didn't realize until you posted (I haven't been back here in awhile) that the problem with Evangers seems to be escalating.

    I am concerned that they have a processing problem. I am more concerned about the many times I have recommended their food to others, and that if they do have an ongoing problem those pets who are eating the food that I recommended may suffer.
    I am also concerned that some may not be getting good customer service from the company when they contact them with problems. I agree with you that this is not the way to go. At the very least they should ask for evidence of connections to health issues when it may be related to their food. They should ask for this from customers not with a tone of denial, but with concern, and reassurance that if they are to blame they will offer restitution.

    I of course will no longer recommend the food to anyone until this situation is resolved once and for all.

    It just goes to show you that things can go wrong at even "good" companies.


  4. I've got 3 cats currently suffering from what is apparently food poisoning of some kind after eating Evangers Organic Braised Chicken. This stuff is being sold in NYC. If Evangers has a restriction on selling their products out of state, what is this stuff doing in NY? I'm keeping a close eye on my cats, who are struggling, and planning on having the food tested immediately. Can anyone recommend a good place to have this done (in the NY Tri-State area if possible)? Thanks!

  5. Dear spaceflows:

    I've been out of direct contact with individual food microbiology testing labs for several years, so I hesitate to recommend one. You might want to try Garden State Labs in New Jersey. You can Google them.

    I would strongly urge you to contact FDA directly, since they have been monitoring Evangers. The FDA toll-free Complaint Line for New York is 866-446-9055. You can also try the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Try the office of the Director of the Division of Food Safety & Inspection at (518) 457-4492.

    Evangers is permitted to sell their product out of state, with batch-by-batch approval, according to the last information I have.

    If you would like to email me directly, please click on my profile to find my contact info.

    I hope your cats make a full and speedy recovery.


  6. My email to Evanger's and their replies...

    Dear Evanger,

    Im sorry to inform that your replies to the FDA findings dont make sense to me, so I will have to stop buying your food. You keep claiming all is safe, but thats not the problem...the problem is you not using the ingredients you claim. the DNA test result is supposed to show ingredients? There could be one drop of duck blood in that can and it would show positive for duck DNA, and what abouth the LAMB??? Independently test and post result of the PERCENTAGE of DUCK or LAMB contents...I bet you dont... Regards, Ed Smith


    Mr.Smith, There was duck in the duck and chicken formula and lamb in the lamb product we manufactured. You may call the lab the specializes in DNA testing since they have more knowledge in this area than myself if you care to. DNA is qualitative not quantitative so either you have the DNA or you don’t. I already wrote my congressman about this instance and now they are involved.

    Sincerely, Brett Sher

    Evanger’s Pet Food



    Very strange reply. Gee, ok, since you say so..."duck in duck, chicken in chicken, lamb in lamb". Wow that really put my mind at ease. And to tell your customers to "call the lab"??? It's not my job to "call the lab" so to put customers mind at ease about your products, it's YOUR job to do that. The FDA didnt find ANY ingredients you claim. How do we know you didnt correct the ingredients AFTER you were caught by the FDA??? And I understand that the FDA does NOT use DNA to test, they use actual quantitive analysis, just like you could and should do, but wont because I think you know what the results would be. And I also contacted my Congresswomen about Evanger's Pet Food faking ingredients and commiting massive fraud on the public and they replied that there is a current investigation of your company ongoing at this time, so yes, they are involved... Thanks, Ed Smith


    Your a loser and you mom must be proud of you.

    Brett Sher

    Evanger’s Pet Food



    I will be sure to post Evanger's reply on as many discussion boards as possible, along with... twitter, facebook, myspace, etc.. Very professional... Regards, Ed Smith


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