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FDA Orders Evanger's Dog & Cat Food 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.

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Holly Sher

The FDA news release is highly inaccurate and misleading. Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company is not under emergency permit and is currently manufacturing and distributing its products worldwide with FDA approval. There have been no allegations for unsafe product or recalls. Please go to evangersdogfood.com for company statement.

Holly Sher
President of Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Co, Inc.The FDA news release is highly inaccurate and misleading. Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Company is not under emergency permit and is currently manufacturing and distributing its products worldwide with FDA approval. There have been no allegations for unsafe product or recalls. Please go to evangersdogfood.com for company statement.

Rebecca Theim

I work with Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company. Evanger's President and Co-Owner (with her husband) Holly Sher issued the following statement Friday afternoon, shortly after the FDA's news release was posted to the agency's Web site. If anyone reading this has questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail them to me and I will make sure that Joel and Holly personally receive them:

FYI, ALL ingredients in Evanger’s products are sourced in the United States and manufacturing is done in its suburban Chicago facility.

Wheeling, Ill., Friday, April 25, 2008 – 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.

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.

“As our customers, retailers and distributors know, Evanger’s takes the quality and safety of its pet foods very seriously,” said Holly Sher, president of Evanger’s. “Evanger’s has a long history of using only human-grade ingredients in our products. The FDA has not called into question the wholesomeness of any ingredient we use. We are confident Evanger’s products continue to be safe, wholesome and natural, so confident that we continue to feed them daily to our own pets.”

All ingredients in Evanger’s products are sourced in the United States and all manufacturing is done in its suburban Chicago facility. The routine FDA inspection was related only to Evanger’s canned foods and did not cover production of its dry pet food products.

As the United States’ oldest natural pet food company, Evanger’s products are known for their human-grade ingredients, including hand-packed meats, fish and poultry, and 100% meat and organic meals.
Consumers and distributors may contact Evanger’s customer service department at (800) 288-6796 for further information. In addition, all new or updated information will be immediately posted to the company’s Website, www.evangersdogfood.com.

Cinammon and Thunder

Not surprising that the defense comments come right from the firm. Wed of this week, I split a can of beef chunks between my two 10-lb Pomeranians and half an hour later, rushed them to the emergency animal hospital. My animals went through hell; my little guy just got out yesterday afternoon and he still has seizures and can barely walk. Lets connect the dots here; they ate evangers food, and half an hour later, were unable to stand, or even hold up their heads. An hour later, they were both blind and fighting for their lives. 4 calls to Evangers have been unreturned, as well as 2 emails. My roommate called, and was hung up on, yet Joel Sher posted on another site that this didnt happen. Yes, it did happen. No amount of 'blowing this off' by Evangers will negate what happened. The food is on its way to the Univ of Md toxicology lab for testing. Its the ONLY thing they ingested. Like I said earlier, you connect the dots!

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