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Pet Food Rendering Plant Makes People Want to Puke and Has Children Run Screaming For Cover

A pet food rendering plant in Quebec has residents reaching for the barf bag every time they go out of doors, describing the stench as something akin to “vomit times ten.” Children living near the rendering plant can’t play outside without being overpowered by the nauseating, purifying stench. Children run inside saying, “Mommy, daddy, it feels like I’m going to throw up.”

People who are unfortunate enough to live near the Sanimax rendering plant, which collects and processes animals and meat by-products, are horrified to imagine what kind of pet food ingredients are made inside the Hellish smelling factory. Therefore, most of the people who live near Sanimax try to avoid buying pet food that might have rendered pet food ingredients in it.

When you visit Sanimax’s website you might be charmed by their sales pitch where they proudly offer “premium pet food ingredients for winning results,” — for “discerning pet owners”  — because they understand “how crucial food safety is in the pet food world.” Sanimax claims their customers keep coming back because of their “premium quality.”

Some suggest Sanimax should build an airtight garage and install special filters on delivery trucks to keep in the smell. Others just want them gone. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. Because as long as people eat meat, poultry and fish, there will be remains that will need to be processed somehow. Rendering is one of the methods of sanitizing otherwise putrid, inedible animal by-products and animal waste. In fact, rendering plants offer a service for the agriculture industry that has to process millions of pounds of slaughterhouse waste that would otherwise be landfilled if that were even allowed.

Renderers like Sanimax are no different from the hundreds of other rendering plants just like it across America processes roughly 25 million tons of animal byproducts each year in the US. In fact, most of the ingredients in pet food and animal feed today typically come from rendering plants like Sanimax.

But if consumers don’t want rendered ingredients in their pet’s food, they need to try and avoid ingredients such as meat meal, meat and bone meal, poultry meal, poultry byproduct meal and fish meal, animal digest or animal fat – because chances are, they originated from a rendering plant.

I don’t have a problem with renderers; really, I don’t. In fact, I think as long as people continues to consume meat, poultry and fish, they should be grateful for what renderers do. At this point, there isn’t a better way of disposing of vast quantities of animal remains from an ecological standpoint. I do, however, object to pet food manufacturers dressing up the puke-making garbage that comes from rendering plants by wrapping it up in a pretty package, and calling it a nutritious, wholesome and complete pet food.

The video (below), although not Sanimax, is a typical rendering plant (this one happens to be in California, called the Sacramento Rendering Company) and it should give you the general idea of what goes on inside a facility that processes dead animals:

Find out more: FDA on rendered animal feed ingredients; Compliance policy guide

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (6) Write a comment

  1. I am crying my heart out. Two of my cats recently died of unknown causes. I suspected the food but have no way to prove it. Four cats got sick and lost weight, two could not be saved. One is still in jeopardy. Is there a test that can identify food poisoning? I used Purina Friskee’s and Cat chow. I had tryed grain free foods but cats didn’t really like it.


    • You can have your vet contact the toxicologist at Michigan State University, and based on your cat’s diagnosis and suspected food poisoning they can suggest which tests would be most appropriate. Go here to find out more:

      Additionally, I urge you and your vet submit adverse event reports to the FDA. Go here to find out how:

      I recommend a human edible pet food made in a human facility — not a pet food facility.


      • Thank you so much for replying. I’m suspecting more and more that there were problems from feeding grainfree food. There’s a lot of information online about it causing kidney failure. It does cause weight loss and at a certain point too much weight loss is dangerous for cats because it causes organ failure. Baby my little four-year-old and Calico my 14 year old both just kept losing weight no matter what I did. The Vets medicine didn’t help. I’m still so depressed that it’s difficult to figure out what to do next. I’m just hoping and praying that no more of my cats die. The outside cats and feral cats that I take care of would not touch the grainfree food but my hand raised babies trusted me when I gave it to them. I haven’t found a single veterinarian that would endorse grainfree food. Grainfree just another one of the big pet food companies propaganda plots to get us all on board buying their products. A lot of people have lost pets due to this new product. Animals that don’t need grainfree they need a healthy diet that supports their proteins. We need to love our pets enough to make these companies stop feeding our pets poison. I’m looking for a way to sue them for killing my cats and making my other cat’s sick.


        • Diann, you need to discuss this openly with vets who are more open-minded and willing to learn about nutritional science.

          Aside from the carbohydrate load, when you use foods that are grain-based, you are imparting a 5-way hit on your dog or cat: 1) the “least cost mix” lowest quality grains that are moldy; 2) the insects that are attracted to these grains since they feed on mold (storage mites), who spend their entire life cycle in the silo, (and whose corpses and excrement are part of that “grain); 3) insecticides used on the grain to kill the mites; 4) anti-fungals used to kill the mold; 5) the toxins that the molds secrete to defend themselves from the mites. And you must consider tolerance: the dog or cat may not only be allergic to the grain… but to the storage mites as well. Your dog gets all of this plus the carbohydrate load.

          We spent $thousands on a heavily recommended dermatologist/specialist, who dismissed grain-free foods as a “fad.” The feeding/elimination trial went on for nearly two years. It turns out the dog is allergic to every grain, and to many dairy products (such as yogurt that you might use for probiotics), etc. Kidney problems/weight loss are a separate issue but they aren’t related to the lack of grain in foods… there is nothing but trouble to be had with grain-based diets.


  2. Your objection to “dressing up the puke-making garbage that comes from rendering plants by wrapping it up in a pretty package, and calling it a nutritious, wholesome and complete pet food” is so very reasonable. We must examine the societal phenomena, in which consumers simply turn away from what we do not want to see, and refuse to acknowledge what we know in our conscience must be true. And why our regulatory authorities seem to be gripped in “regulatory capture” and allow this deception.



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