The Honest Kitchen Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lots Of Verve, Zeal & Thrive Products Due To Possible Health Risk


I have to say of all the recalls I see day in day out, how sorry I was to see this recall pass my desk. I never, ever recommend pet food brands, simply because almost all of them fail to meet my strict criteria.  Honest Kitchen is that rare exception.

Honest Kitchen is one of those few brands, as rare as hen’s teeth, of whom I personally believe is one of the best pet food companies on the market (and no, I don’t get a kickback for saying so). Which is saying allot, because I am the pickiest pet food consumer you’ll probably ever meet in your life, with the exception of my friend Susan Thixton over at Truth About Pet Food. Someday I should write a post about them, because I think the company and the owner Lucy Postins, and their fabulous food deserve special attention.

Remember the massive Kaytee brand small pet and pet bird food recall this Wednesday? Well, the reason for Kaytee’s recall was they used a dehydrated parsley contaminated with Salmonella in their formulas. And on Thursday Honest Kitchen announces, “one of its raw ingredients suppliers has recalled a batch of human-grade parsley that may contain Salmonella.” I would bet money, the very same supplier of the contaminated parsley was shipped to Honest Kitchen as well. I can’t be certain, but never the less…here’s the recall notice from Honest Kitchen:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 21, 2013 – The Honest Kitchen today announced that it is voluntarily recalling five lots of its Verve, Zeal and Thrive pet food products produced between August and November 2012 and sold nationwide in the US and Canada via retail stores, mail order and online after August 2012 because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No other Honest Kitchen batches, production dates or products are affected.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Animals with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some animals will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your animals have consumed the recalled product and have these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The Company is taking this action after learning that one of its raw ingredients suppliers has recalled a batch of human-grade parsley that may contain Salmonella. The batch of parsley was shipped to the Company in 2012 and used in the production of five lots of finished Honest Kitchen products.

The Honest Kitchen regularly tests for Salmonella and other pathogens as part of its quality control process and has not received to date any reports of illness associated with these lots of products. Nonetheless, the Company is proceeding with this action in order to ensure the full safety and quality of its products.

“We are committed to providing the highest-quality human-grade food available to our customers’ pets,” said Lucy Postins, founder, CEO and CMO of The Honest Kitchen. “While our quality control tests did not find evidence of Salmonella in any of our finished products, we are accountable for everything we make, and are taking precautionary action to ensure the safety and integrity of our products.”

Recalled Product

Item Code Product Name Production Date Expiration Date Size Lot Number
V4 + VR VERVE 8/20/12 8/20/13 4 lb. box, 10 lb. box 2332A (batches 1-3)
VR VERVE 11/1/12 11/1/13 10 lb. box 3062A (batches 8 & 9)
TM THRIVE 9/18/12 9/18/13 1 oz. sample 2622A (batch 3)
­Z4 + ZR ZEAL 8/14/12 8/14/13 4 lb. box,10 lb. box 2272A (batches 1–5)
ZR ZEAL 9/21/12 9/21/13 10 lb. box 2652A (batches 1–4)


What To Do

Consumers who purchased the above lots of Honest Kitchen Verve, Zeal or Thrive products should stop feeding the products to their pets, remove the UPC (bar code) and lot code from the packaging, and discard the contents in a covered trash receptacle. Lot codes are located on the top of product boxes either adjacent to or opposite the UPC.

Consumers can receive a replacement or full refund of the MSRP of the affected products plus $1 to cover postage, by mailing the UPC and lot code along with a completed Reimbursement Form to The Honest Kitchen, 145 14th Street, San Diego, Calif. 92101, Attn: Reimbursements. All refunds will be processed within five business days (plus postage time).

The Honest Kitchen products use human-food grade ingredients. The Company’s products are made in a human food facility and held to the same high quality control standards as human food products. Employees taste products as part of the quality control and research & development processes.

To supplement its quality control processes while maintaining its commitment to gentle processing that protects natural nutrients, The Honest Kitchen is enacting additional procedures:

  • All dehydrated leafy greens will be steamed, to further protect against the possibility of Salmonella and other pathogens;
  • All leafy greens will receive a second test for pathogens after arrival at the Company’s manufacturing facility, in addition to the testing conducted internally by suppliers;
  • The Company has discontinued its relationship with the supplier who provided the parsley used in the production of the lots being recalled.

For questions or more information, contact The Honest Kitchen by phone at 1-866-437-9729 or email at Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST to respond to inquiries.


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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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