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Rancid pet food recalled, “smells like kerosene,” company owner says

Dave’s Pet Food is recalling around 300 bags of dog food after customers complained of the “God-awful smell” they gave off, company owner Dave Ratner said.

Which products are affected?

According to Dave, “You know if the bag was affected, because you open it up and it smells like kerosene.”

More precisely, the recalled food is for “Dave’s Simply The Best Dog Food” with best-used by dates of Dec. 15 and 16, 2016.

The cause of the smell was determined to be “bad batch of rice bran” in the formula, which has since been discarded at the food’s manufacturing facility. But the chow is safe to eat — just smelly, Dave said.

“How ironic is this, we had a batch of Simply The Best food that has a terrible smell,” explains Dave in a notice on his website. “There are no health or safety issues, the foul smell is caused by a bad batch of rice flour which is part of the ingredients. Since my name is on the bag, I am mortified that this happened.”

Southern Tier Pet Nutrition, co-packer of the product, released a statement Tuesday on the recall revealing the rice bran was in fact, rancid.

According to the co-packer, “…samples were pulled and tested. Peroxide value was high, indicating rancidity.”  Adding that, “…it was noted on a subsequent production run of another product that the rice bran being used had an off odor,” the statement reads.

The susceptibility of rice bran to rancidity during storage and the detrimental effects of rancid rice bran on animals has been well documented. Rice bran is vulnerable to rancidity because it typically contains between 20 and 25 percent fat. The rice industry formerly got rid of this by-product once rice was processed because the bran went rancid so fast, until they figured out how to stabilize it long enough for it to be included in animal feed and pet food.

While Dave is mortified that a product with his name on it has been recalled, I’ll bet his customers are more than a little mortified that he minimized the rancid rice bran in his dog food as nothing more than a smelly nuisance – especially one that “smells like kerosene.”

Meanwhile, consumers of the affected dog food are encouraged to exchange their bags or seek a refund.

If you have questions or concerns, Dave’s Pet Food customer service is available Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5PM EST at 1-888-763-2738. Alternatively, you can email the company at and they will contact you as soon as possible. Be sure to tell them if you prefer to be contacted by e-mail or telephone.

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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.

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