Smucker withdraws Gravy Train and other dog foods

Smucker withdrew more varieties and brands, including Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol' Roy and Skippy, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Tim Wall Headshot Small Headshot
image from Gravy Train website
image from Gravy Train website

J.M. Smucker voluntarily withdrew 10 varieties of Gravy Train dog food, according to the company’s website. The withdrawal followed a news report that the pet foods were tainted with pentobarbital, and subsequent class action lawsuit.

Smucker also withdrew certain shipments of Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol' Roy and Skippy, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

On March 2, the FDA informed J.M. Smucker that the firm’s action to remove products from the marketplace is now considered a recall. The FDA based this decision on a test by the firm confirming the presence of pentobarbital in the tallow ingredient used in the affected products.

The affected dog foods:

Gravy Train canned/wet dog food

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks (UPC: 7910052541)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips (UPC: 7910052542)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks (UPC: 7910052543)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910034417)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks (UPC: 7910034418)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew (UPC: 7910051933)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley (UPC: 7910051934)

• Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910034417)

• Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks (UPC: 7910051645)

• Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910051647)

Kibbles 'N Bits canned/wet dog food

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack (UPC: 7910010377; 7910010378)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety Pack (UPC: 7910010382; 7910048367; 7910010378)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack (UPC: 7910010380; 7910010377; 7910010375)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack (UPC: 791001037; 7910048367)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy (UPC: 7910010375)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy (UPC: 7910010378)

• Kibbles 'N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy (UPC: 7910010380)

Skippy canned/wet dog food

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts in Gravy with Beef & Bone Marrow (UPC: 7910071860)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts with Burgers & Cheese Bits (UPC: 7910050243)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Smoky Turkey & Bacon (UPC: 7910050246)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef & Chicken (UPC: 7910050247)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 Chicken, Beef & Liver (UPC: 7910050248)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew (UPC: 7910050249)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Chicken (UPC: 7910050244)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef (UPC: 7910050250)

• Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef (UPC: 7910050245)

Ol’ Roy canned/wet dog food

• Ol’ Roy 13.2 oz. Turkey Bacon Strips (UPC: 8113117570)

Alleged pentobarbital in Gravy Train dog food led to lawsuit

A Washington D.C. ABC-affiliate news station, WJLA, reported that a laboratory they contracted, Ellipse Analytics, found pentobarbital in Gravy Train dog food, a brand produced by J.M. Smuckerunder Big Heart Pet Brands. WJLA’s report led to a class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands filed in a United States District Court in California. In Missouri, one woman believes Gravy Train may have contributed to her dog’s death, reported KMOV, a St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based CBS affiliate.

WJLA found pentobarbital in dog food

WJLA contracted a laboratory to test 62 samples of wet dog food from two dozen brands for the presence of pentobarbital. Out of 15 cans of Gravy Train, 60 percent of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital, although not at lethal levels.

Ellipse Analytics is the same laboratory that works with the Clean Label Project, a pet food rating system.

Class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands

According to court documents, the class action lawsuit seeks to compel Big Heart Brands to “disclose its pet food sold throughout the United States is adulterated and contains  pentobarbital…” The lawsuit also aims to make Big Heart refund the purchase of that pet food to consumers.

WJLA’s report led to a class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands filed in a United States District Court in California.

Effects of pentobarbital in dog food

A woman in Fenton, Missouri, USA believes that allegedly pentobarbital-contaminated Gravy Train dog food may have been responsible for her dog’s illness and death, reported KMOV. She stated that in October 2017, her Miniature Schnauzer became ill after eating Gravy Train and other Big Heart products. The dog passed away two months later.

Last February, pentobarbital-contaminated dog food was in the news. One Pug was euthanized after eating pentobarbital-tainted Evanger’s Hunk of Beef dog food, and four other dogs were sickened. 

The adulterated pet food didn’t technically kill the Pug, Evanger’s vice president Joel Sher told Petfood Industry.

“The one that didn’t survive was a 13- or 14-year-old Pug that had some health issues,” he said. “The decision was made to euthanize the fourth Pug.”

Pentobarbital, a barbiturate, is used to euthanize animals and as a human sedative and anticonvulsant, as well as in human executions and physician-assisted suicides. Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death, according to the FDA.

Page 1 of 555
Next Page