sad eyes dog with empty bowl of food

Dangerous metal tags in Evanger’s dog food: Solution? A silent recall

Dangerously sharp metal tags are not what a pet parent expects to find in their tin of dog food.

However, that’s just what one pet parent found in her can of dog food.

Along with the peas, carrots, rice, and chicken, she found sharp metal tags floating in amongst the meat and veg.

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Horrified, Ms. Ennis called Evanger’s she was told they were surprised that she found them because they use metal detectors now at their factory.

When Ms. Ennis asked what the tags were and what in the BLEEP they were they doing in her dog food, they assured her, that a similar incident happened a couple of years ago and were surprised to hear that there were still cans of it “floating around.”

When Ms. Ennis inquired about the extra ingredient, Evanger’s told her that the tags are used in the poultry industry as a means of identification and “should have been removed from the chicken’s wings” before they got used in pet food.

But, Evanger’s told her not to worry, because now they use metal detectors in their plant to avoid such hazards.

Except it did happen – again.

The alternative explanation is that the food she purchased last week was in fact made in 2009 when they had that problem originally.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know.


Because, Evanger’s decided to pull a pet-food-industry-fast-one and do what is known as a “silent recall” or a “product pull.”

Just what are those, you ask?

Simply put, it’s a dirty little secret to avoid warning the public of the danger associated with a faulty pet food. It’s commonly used to avoid lawsuits, avoid paying claims, damaged reputations, loss of brand confidence and of course the accompanying loss of sales.

Evanger’s decided instead to conceal from the public critical information:

  • Where were the products distributed?
  • Which retailers carried the product?
  • Which formulas were affected?
  • What were the production codes, the best-by dates, or the lot numbers?

In a nutshell: They didn’t tell the public diddly.

Consumers who may have that dangerous dog food sitting on their shelves at home will never know of the possible danger. Consumers whose dogs become ill or die will have no recourse.

Instead, Evanger’s secretly notified their distributors to remove whatever product was left still on the market.

And – poof!

Like magic, Evanger’s reputation remains intact.

Although the same would not be said of a dog’s digestive system should it be the unfortunate recipient of the deadly dog dinner.

SOURCE: Courtenay woman finds sharp metal tags in canned dog food (UPDATE: link no longer active)

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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 (22) Write a comment

  1. Pingback: As Evanger’s Scandal Unfolds, a Look Back at Their Troubled History - Poisoned Pets | A look inside the pet food industry

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  3. Pingback: Evanger's Dog Food Blamed in Deadly Dog Food Poisoning; One Dog Died, Three Others in ICU - Poisoned Pets | A look inside the pet food industry

  4. I came across this article while searching for similar incidents to what happened to us on Sunday. We found a METAL NAIL in a can of Evangers Hunk of Beef dog food. It was corroded and encrusted with food. If my dog had not spit it out it would certainly have killed her. I sent a note to Evangers via their website on Sunday April 10 and as of Tuesday April 12 no one has responded to me. Even more concerning is the can states the product is “hand packed” leading me to question whether this was intentional.


  5. I just found a metal lid (I think that is what it is) and pieces of sharp metal in a can of Evangers food. Not the tags like you found, but obviously their “metal detection” is not working. It terrifies me to think that sharp metal pieces could have also been in other cans from this case that we already fed to senior dogs in our rescue. I just contacted Evangers, will be curious what their response will be.


  6. Pingback: Canidae, Natural Balance, Wellness Recall

  7. Thanks for this information. It serves like a warning or at least for those pet lovers that they should check first the food that they are giving or feeding their dogs.


  8. Mollie: Well, reading this I am so discouraged. I have really struggled to find a quality food product for my cats. I fed them Wellness until I stumbled across a recall notice from a friend, who found it on the internet. Side Note: I think pet food stores-who sell us these products, should be more involved in this watchdog process. Funny thing was, my cats no longer liked the food. The food was, I believe to have been too low in Thiamine and the side effects on cats were positively awful. Now, I have been feeding my pets Evangers Pheasant, wet food. I just bought 2 cases–it looks different and, they are not eating it? They gobbled the other stuff up. I decided to do a little research on the internet (which I know, I should have done prior) and…find this stuff out. All I want to do is feed my animals a food that nourishes and makes them happy. They’re indoor cats and cannot “go out and feed themselves nourishing food” it is up to me. What do you suggest?


    • Nina, I hate to say it but Evangers is a company that I personally believe should not be in the pet food business. They have a long and dark history.

      I have inside info (from the FDA) about Evangers that is not good. That’s all I’m prepared to say.

      I personally feed a human-grade dehydrated raw pet food and a raw food diet to my cats. And when I have time I make my own. Regardless I always I supplement with other things for variety. The list is long, but all you need to know is that I focus on local, certified organic, raw, fresh, humane ingredients.


  9. My dogs love Evanger’s and when my daughter bought a large bag of the chicken formula, she discovered her dogs did not like it so she called Evanger’s. They promptly returned her call and gave her several coupons for another flavor. They are very nice people and, as i said, my dogs LOVE the food. They are begging for it in the mornings, not like with other brands. I had to force them to eat. I am sure whatever problems they had in the past have been corrected. We are all human.


    • Debbie, since this is not the first time Evanger’s has been busted for leaving metal tags in food, the problem wasn’t “cleared-up” in the first place, so I wouldn’t count on it.

      Second, since the company is run by crooks (look it up, it’s public record), so I doubt if they really care about pets, when their history has shown they will break the law to improve their bottom line. And they are anything but “very nice people” – also public record.

      Third, Purina sends customers coupons for poisonous Waggin Train Chicken Jerky Treats if a customer complains about the treat, so what does that tell you? Absolutely NOTHING.

      Fourth, because your pets LOVE the food could mean, simply, that there are added flavor enhancers that could make a dog or a cat LOVE poop if they wanted them to, so that is NO indication of quality.

      And fifth, I can’t imagine telling my dog, as he laid dying while bleeding to death from internal injuries caused by their negligence, “Oops, sorry baby, but the people who make Evanger’s are just human, so tough, eh?”.


  10. At least the company did something about it and I’m impressed the owner talked to the customer and news right away. You don’t get that anymore.


    • Tell me about it!! Those guys look like angels compared to Purina and all the rest of those sonsasoandsos selling jerky treats from China – that have refused to take it off the market…


  11. Thanks for warning the consumer yet again, who would probably never receive or find this news, unless the major TV stations carry it.
    As you wrote in May last year, Evanger’s are not “the brightest criminals around”, when they attempted to pull a fast one on the public with their so called Premium Duck canned food, that had absolutely NO DUCK in it at all. Found by accident by the FDA, the pet food was found to have only bovine material in it… beef, but what quality we’ll never know. Crooks.


    • It’s pretty sad when a company gets busted for ripping off the state for several hundred thousand dollars in public utilities cause they hacked into the main power supply and in the process put an employee of Evanger’s at risk of getting fried to the max. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want criminals making anything I’m going to eat or feed my pet, thank you very much. Evanger’s has a criminal record that frankly, should make most consumers think twice about ever buying a product from them. This isn’t the first time they’ve run afoul of the law and if past behavior is any predictor of future behavior – then you can bet a nickle to a donut they’ll get busted again.


  12. I don’t have that big of a problem with a silent recall. At least the company DID SOMETHING! Unlike the lack of action in the chicken jerky issue.


    • I think it is merely the lesser of two evils. The problem with not informing consumers is they may have already purchased the food and will eventually be fed to their pet. In which case the ingestion of the sharp objects may cause damage to the esophagus, stomach lining and the digestive tract. The incisions would cause internal bleeding, blood poisoning, massive infection leading to potentially life threatening event. A lacerated or perforated esophagus or punctured stomach is extremely difficult to treat and repair, and can often become fatal very quickly. Even the slightest nick, perforation, or puncture can lead to the bacterial infection peritonitis which can quickly become quite deadly, sometimes within 24 hours. The definitive treatment for internal bleeding is always surgical treatment and if medical intervention is not sought urgently – the victim (the dog) will most likely die. Internal bleeding is serious for two reasons: the blood can compress organs and cause their dysfunction and the loss of blood will cause hemorrhagic shock which can lead to brain damage and death.



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