Healthcare Blog

Pet Food Maker Needs Emergency Permit For Canned Foods To Enter Interstate Commerce, FDA

October 31, 2017

Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co., Inc. has been told by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it must have an emergency permit for its canned pet foods to transported and sold from state-to-state. According to the FDA, a recent inspection found that the company's processes, equipment and recordkeeping throughout the production of its thermally low acid canned food (LACF) products deviated significantly from prescribed documentation.

The identified shortcomings could lead to the under-processing of pet foods, raising the risk of survival and growth of Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum). C. botulinum is a botulism causing bacterium which under anaerobic conditions produces a toxin in the food - causing serious illness in animals and humans.

Dr. Stephen Sundlof, Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said "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. The FDA's authority to issue an order requiring an emergency permit is an enforcement tool designed to prevent unsafe foods from reaching consumers."

An Order of Need for Emergency Permit is issued by the FDA if it determines that a manufacturer has not met the regulatory requirements to process a product that does not pose a risk to health.

Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co., Inc. will have to document that corrective measures and processing procedures have been implemented to make sure that the finished product (canned pet food) will not pose a hazard to health.

Botulism's toxin can be fatal - it attacks the nervous system of animals and humans. Botulism has been documented in cats and dogs.

Signs of Botulism in Animals

-- progressive muscle paralysis
-- disturbed vision
-- difficulty in chewing
-- difficulty in swallowing
-- progressive weakness

The sufferer dies usually as a result of heart paralysis or the inability to breathe (breathing muscles fail).

In light of human botulism illnesses and recalls that happened because of under-processed hot dog chili sauce, and potentially under-processed canned green beans, FDA has insisted that all LACF processors re-assess their operations and apply the 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.


Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company Responds To FDA News Release