Honest Kitchen Recalls Five Lots of Dog Food


February 21, 2013 – The Honest Kitchen has today announced it is voluntarily recalling five lots of its Verve, Zeal and Thrive dog foods because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
Honest Kitchen Verve Dog Food

The items were produced between August and November 2012 and sold nationwide in the US and Canada via retail stores, mail order and online after August 2012.

No other Honest Kitchen production dates, batches, or products are affected.

About Salmonella

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Fever

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 display these symptoms, you are advised to contact your veterinarian.

About the Recall

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 Honest Kitchen products.

The Honest Kitchen claims to regularly test 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 product lots.

The Company is proceeding with this action to ensure the safety and quality of its products.

According to Lucy Postins, company founder and CEO…

“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.”

What’s Being Recalled?

The lots being recalled are:

Honest Kitchen Recall Lot Info

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.

For questions, consumers are invited to call the company at (866) 437-9729. Or send an email to [email protected]

Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm PST.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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  • Hillary Harris

    Dogs DO get sick from salmonella – and the outcome can be what you might not expect. Do not assume that because your pet is an animal that their systems do not take a hit from bacteria. Not all pets systems are okay to eat raw meats or can tolerate them. My Sheltie simply cannot – though I have tried and want to feed him the best quality I can. You must never blanket statement animals and treat or feed them accordingly – every pet is different – just like people. <3

  • aimee

    Hi Jamie,

    Not all dogs will get ill from Salmonella but some will. In this report 11% of dogs had clinical signs after exposure. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16979851 These were adult dogs and signs were mild. In puppies the result from exposure can result in death http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/23056/PDF

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Just keep in mind, it’s not the dogs who will get sick from salmonella – it’s people. Dog’s have systems designed for heavy bacteria loads. They are carnivores and are meant to eat raw meat after all.

  • Diane Copenhaver

    I just bought this yesterday and it IS in some kind of plastic packaging inside the box. I’m looking at the food.

  • These all information states very clearly as the company has really enhanced their products on the behalf of getting noticed as trustful brand name. I am also a pet lover and seeing all these concerned activities for these pets makes me feel very pleased. thank You.

  • theBCnut

    So who are you? rose william or Mickal Jack?

  • These all information states very clearly as the company has really
    enhanced their products on the behalf of getting noticed as trustful
    brand name. I am also a pet lover and seeing all these concerned
    activities for these pets makes me feel very pleased. thank You.

  • These all information states very clearly as the company has really enhanced their products on the behalf of getting noticed as trustful brand name. I am also a pet lover and seeing all these concerned activities for these pets makes me feel very pleased. thank You.

  • Mll Mcc

    I’ve been feeding my pugs The Honest Kitchen foods for a couple years now. Just in case, I always save the lot numbers until that batch is consumed. Never had any issue. My babies are super healthy and happy. The company goes way beyond what laws and regulations say they should to keep pets they feed safe. They really do care about their products and our pets!

  • kelle

    I think this says a lot about the company that although they did not have to recall, that they did it to proactively protect their customers. I have worked in the animal health industry and I am proud when I see a company go above and beyond what they have to do. I had been thinking about using this brand, and considering how they handled this issue, I will definitely try their foods for my dogs.

  • Lucy Saw

    I know. My grandmother lived to 96 smoking cigarettes and drinking sherry and she was as fit as a fiddle yet I wouldn’t suggest following her caution to the wind lifestyle as healthy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    He didn’t say anything about it being a sample, it was a small package.

  • buddy3

    Yes, I’m sure you test all your food too before eating it.

  • Jess

    They don’t use cellophane packaging for their samples, so I am pretty sure you did not get a sample of Honest Kitchen. Check yourself before you post.

  • Erin

    Because one dog did well on a vegan diet does not mean that it’s ok. Dogs live on alpo too, doesn’t make it good for them. If a person wants to be vegan, fine good for them. But dogs are carnivores, they always have been and always will be. Stop pushing human ideologies on animals. It’s cruel and unhealthy.

  • losul

    who knows how long Brambles was a vegan anyway, or if it was 100% vegan, maybe it was only the last coupla years of life.


  • Pattyvaughn

    Again, that’s one. So what you’re saying is the oldest dog in the world wasn’t a vegan. Isolated incidences do not make a case.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s one.

  • Again one of the oldest dog in the world, Bramble,wasa vegan. PERIOD.

  • One of the oldest dog in the world, Bramble, was a vegan who ate only rice, lentils and organic vegetable. Maybe you should do your homework too.

  • monkey

    I got some samples of THK Love, one of my dogs made the funniest face after trying it and then just sat there looking at the food until i dumped it out. I’m going to try Zeal, then i give up.

  • Brenda Lopez

    I have to say that I just found out about this recall today and I have gone through 3/4 of a box of the recalled Verve. My dog did not get sick. (rest of box tossed out) Thank goodness. I have had the best of luck with THK getting my 95 lb guy feeling better/perkier. He was sluggish and I always “thought” I was feeding him well, but I started my homework as to what I could do for him. The change was a good one. Great pet store in Tampa, Health Mutt, helped me with this choice. I am grateful. Thanks THK for great products. Brenda in Maui

  • Callie’s Mom

    Thanks for sharing your experience Hound Dog Mom. I checked my samples against the recall and only one sample has parsley in it. Given all the info here, I think I am going to give this a try to see how she does with it. before using it for travel. Thanks again.

  • Pointy Ears GSD

    We use a HK, will continue to use THK and absolutely applaud Lucy and THK in taking proactive measures. We feed a combination of THK, Orijen & Nutri Source all grain free as a complete meal supplementing OmegaQD. THK is a great food and a great company and people should do their homework when comparing pet foods as they should their own food. Also make sure if an when you make changes you do that correctly too. Our dog trainers Georgia K9 NTC make it a point to educate you and stress the importance of diet and nutrition for your K9 promoting THK.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It definitely wasn’t you.

  • Marie

    Because it’s expensive as sh*t and would drive up the price.

  • Marie

    Yeah, it’s really been effing around with comment order and authors, I thought I had lost my mind when Labs said I was addressing the wrong person, cause I could SWEAR that her user name was next to that comment.

  • Joanna

    I have a dog with yeast issues and allergies. Just over a week ago I emailed The Honest Kitchen and they sent me several free samples. My dog had been sick from an antibiotic she was on and I gave her the Preference mixed with cooked turkey. She perked up right away and her tummy settled down overnight! I am very happy with this company. Any company can have a bad ingredient. I will continue to feed my girl Preference with my own meat. It has really helped her and she loves it!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I wouldn’t let the recall scare you away from THK, it’s a great food. Recalls can happen to any company at any time and I’m confident THK will do everything in their power to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I make homemade food for my dogs too and traveling is a challenge. I generally pack a pre-mix (THK’s Preference, Sojo’s, or something similar), appropriate utensils and stop at grocery stores while I’m traveling to pick up fresh meat. I make sure I have a refrigerator in my hotel. I feed raw so all I have to do it add water and fresh raw meat to the pre-mix and – ta da! – semi-homemade. Freeze-dried is another good option for travel – light and shelf stable, expensive for a large dog though (why I don’t use it). There are also other quality dehydrated foods out there if you’re really not comfortable using THK after the recall – Grandma Lucy’s and NRG Maxim are two highly rated brands. Sojo’s and Addiction make dehydrated foods as well however they’re a little low in protein for my taste, reputable companies though.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m with Marie – I have a very difficult time believing this. I used to feed THK and have spoken to their customer service numerous times via phone and email. I have always found their customer service to be friendly, knowledgeable and concerned.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve had Disqus do the same thing lately. It will show a different name under recent comments than on the post itself too.

  • The problem with Diamond wasn’t only food, but what they found at the plant and how the equipment was being mended with cardboard AND duct tape, paddles had gouges in them, and no hand wash stations. That was after they had had 10 days to clean up BEFORE FDA came in. Makes you wonder how bad was it prior to that. IF you still trust Diamond as a manufacturer I feel sorry for your pets. I worked for an all natural pet food and when the TOW rep TOLD ME I would NEVER get it in writing that their food didn’t have ethoxyquin we pulled the food.

  • losul

    Kelloggs Special K just had another recall yesterday for possible glass fragments

  • lsmith

    nice that they did the recall to be on the safe side! Let’s not forget that even human foods have recalls….. Sams Club just had a recall on the organic spinach they sale!

  • Marie

    LOL well then. I wonder why my screen showed that earlier, I think there’s a problem with DISQUS on my end. Good to see you too.

  • InkedMarie

    hey Kate, can you address the post by “gg”, a few posts below?

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Marie, good to see you on dfa, I haven’t seen you in a while. Sorry, I can’t hook you up with a job….It’s Kate that said she works for THK. lol.

  • Karen Guignard

    Tom, before you go vegan dog food, realize that it is the human grade PARSLEY that is the offending ingredient! So, you could get the same on your salad at an expensive restaurant! I applaud a dog food company that is trying to be proactive and has our dogs’ health and safety in mind!

  • Marie

    Say Labs, I need a job, can you hook me up? 🙂

  • Kate – The Honest Kitchen

    Hi everyone – I wanted to jump in on the discussion here to clarify any confusion and answer any questions! (full disclosure: I work for The Honest Kitchen)

    Most importantly, to-date no tests run on our finished products have detected salmonella in our parsley and no humans or pets have been confirmed sick from the products. We are implementing this voluntary recall as a precautionary step.

    All of our products undergo multiple quality control tests including a test for salmonella and we wait for those test results before allowing any products to leave our facilities. All lots – including the lots we are now recalling – tested normal and from our end, the food was human-grade. However, because those lots of finished food are produced from the same batch of parsley that the supplier has shown to be contaminated, they are now ‘guilty by association’.

    Hypothetically, let’s say the parsley supplier produced 1000 lbs of parsley and 1lb was contaminated with salmonella while the remaining 999 lbs were free of salmonella – the entire batch is now guilty by association. Given that all the test results on our end are normal to date, it’s very unlikely that we received contaminated product, but because it was produced with product from the larger batch, we’re erring on the side of caution.

    We take the quality of our product and health of your pets very seriously and we are implementing additional safety standards based on what we learned from this situation – this includes gently steaming leafy greens while still maintaining a high focus on protecting their natural nutrients as well as putting leafy greens through a second round of pathogen testing beyond our supplier testing.

    I know that this is confusing and frustrating for many customers but we want to ensure that not one animal or person gets sick. We are working hard to be as transparent and as accessible to you as possible. Please reach out to me with any questions or contact our customer service dept: 866-437-9729. You can also check out this FAQ page: http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/2013/02/21/quality-control-faq

  • LabsRawesome

    @facebook-100003119485541:disqus That is one of the dumbest comments I have ever read. First of all the suspect ingredient is PARSLEY. Not meat. So why go vegan over that? They add some really stupid stuff to dog food. Dogs don’t require parsley anyway. Dogs have a definite carnivorous bias. Anyone that feeds a carnivore vegan/vegetarian is not feeding their dog correctly. PERIOD.

  • DogFoodDealer

    I just got off of the phone with THK and they assuered me that the people they get their parsley from will no longer be used. They also told me that they tested all of their batches and they all tested negative, they are just recalling to be on the safe side. Just thought I would let everyone know.

  • InkedMarie

    Can you please share the email they sent to you? This is highly unbelievable to me

  • gg

    I always use very high quality food for my dog. Several months ago, I decided to try a small package of Honest Kitchen powdered food. Inside the sealed cellophane packet, I found a fully-formed beetle (or similar insect) than was more than ½-inch long. It was caked with powdered food and had obviously gotten in between processing the food and packaging. Not only was it disgusting, but it made me wonder what else could have gotten into the food. I immediately stopped using it, and I called the company to tell them. Their response was, “Yeah, that happens sometimes. It won’t hurt your dog.” No offer to check out that batch, or to replace the product, or anything. It didn’t seem at all “honest” to me! I never bought that brand again, and I won’t in the future. I just thought that I would pass that along.

  • Callie’s mom

    After the melamine scandal years ago, I began home-cooking for my Aussie, using only human grade foods. She is 10 years old now and so beautiful and healthy. Homemade food is easy to make, but sometimes it is a pain to travel with. A few days ago, I picked up some trial packs of this Honest Kitchen food. Very impressed with all the information about their ingredients and quality control. I was jazzed that I may have finally found a good travel option and was going to use it this weekend. Today…a recall. What a bummer! Maybe I need to buy a dehydrator to make my homemade food travel friendly?

  • cakie

    I have been making my dogs treats at home. I do not buy them from dog food manufacturer’s. they are not relyable

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    While any recall is a concern, I applaud the way THK company and CEO handled this. I had just fed a sample of Embark to my crew 2 days ago with great results. I know that Embark was not on the list of recalled products but I looked at the ingredient list anyway. I noticed that Embark does not even have parsley listed as an ingredient. I plan on adding Embark to my dogs’ topper rotation.

  • Bennybadoo

    Vegan dog food won’t help. This contamination came from parsley. Sorry.

  • Lauren

    Dogs are not vegan animals and should not have your beliefs forced n them. Dogs are carnivores, and eat meat and require the essential nutrients found ONLY in meat. Vegan pet food has man-made, synthesized vitamins and nutrients because otherwise dogs and cats would not survive eating it. If you want a vegan animal, get a horse, cow or sheep. Everything about a dog is built to consume meat. Their teeth, their digestive system…

  • Rimrock

    Thanks Karen Smith for that reply. Looks like you do your homework.

    My question to dog food companies is “why don’t you TEST all the ingredients before packaging?” That is being responsible.

  • Brenda

    I am so surprised Honest Kitchen is on recall,This is very scared.Imjust don’t know what safe to feed my kiddies anymore

  • Cate

    Meat had nothing to do with this recall. The culprit is parsley.

  • Pennygirl

    Unfortunately for me, it was too late. Our Boston Terrier was really sick for about 12 hours and we couldn’t understand why! What is a responsible fur parent suppose to do? Home cooking from scratch?

  • Corgi Girl

    Yes there has been a lot of recalls lately. But HK stated above they did quality control test and found no salmonella, but they are still recalling the food and no one has called in to say my dogs got sick. I think that says a lot about this company, Plus I don’t want any chicken from China in my dog food or their treats. I look for made in USA- but that’s not 100%, because are the ingredients all made in USA that is the question????

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve been a THK customer for years & will continue to be. I appreciate the fact they’ve announced this before reports of sick dogs and I am glad they are severing ties with the supplier of the parsley.

  • Karen Smith

    I have more confidence than ever in THK. I respect the fact that they initiated the recal before any one, pet or human, had a chance to get sick. After all, they could have waited it out to see if they even got a report of a sick pet, then recalled the product as I suspect many companies, human and pet food alike do. They obviously are concerned about the well being of the pets they serve. I wonder how much human spaghetti sauce this tainted parsley will end up in that we will never know about?

    And a side note about vegan diets for dogs, please do your homework before making any decision. Dogs were designed to eat meat and simply are not able to make protein from the amino acids in legumes and veggies the way people do. Their intestinal tracts are far shorter than humans’ and simply cannot utilize the vegetables and grains the way we do. There is even scientific evidence lately that they should not even be eating grains. The first thing holistic vets do when a dog is diagnosed with cancer is to take them OFF all grains. Just research is all I am saying ad dont fall for any hype. Especially if it comes from celebrities.

  • most recalled pet supplies seem to be from China , hmm maybe we should not buy from there. Just my opinion.

  • Marie

    THK is a high-quality food that manufactures in their own plant with certified human-grade ingredients, probably literally the best dog food on the market. Yet, they had a (granted, a precautionary) recall. This only goes to show that NO ONE is perfect, there is NO SUCH THING as a 100% safe, 100% risk-free product, and people need to stop pretending that such a product exists. Damage control and risk management is the best way to feed your dog, not putting faith in one company, one product, or hell, even one way of feeding your dog.

  • Marie

    This leads me to believe that human-grade ingredients are clearly the issue here.

  • and they Killed Diamond for a recall…they recall 8 million tons of beef for human consumption in this country every year….and you are SURPRISED WHEN THERE’S A DOG FOOD RECALL…. I still trust Diamond my dogs eat taste of the Wild….you just never know when it comes to manufacturing ……..

  • T

    I stopped using HK and started using Grandma Lucy’s although we still use the HK Love for our diabetic dog as it has the least amount of carbs.

  • T

    You save up those upc codes and turn them in for a free box of food. Check that out on their website. You need about 12 upc codes to get one 10lb box though.

  • Jeff

    bpf isn’t raw meat so it is safe for the humans to handle.

  • Not sure if you are talking about dry or wet food but I give my dogs Vdog (dry food) and order it straight from their website…!! My dogs like it but I also cook for them and sometimes give them Avenger’s can food (also Vegan) ordered from their website as well…..!!

  • Lynette

    I completely agree! My cats eat only Honest Kitchen and that won’t change. I respect HK more for being proactive.

  • Sheila

    Raw meats have salmonella. The arguement of raw feeders is that your dog’s digestive track is designed to handle salmonella and other bacteria

  • chrisnine11

    I guess a recall is a recall is a recall – but I applaud a company that does the right thing and pulls product BEFORE they get reports of sick pets. This recall was because of salmonella found in human grade parsley. It’s not a recall caused by some chemical injected in chickens from China. It’s not from a product that has been known to kill animals for MONTHS (or years) before a company pulls the product yet still CLAIMS their products are safe. It is scary how many recalls we see on dog food and treats but personally I would trust a company like this over the ‘big players’ any day, even after a recall like this one. I tried to deal with Purina after 2 of my dogs got sick after eating one of their brands.. of course they said nothing was wrong and they had received no reports about the particular flavor/type I had…. even after I directed them to a website with over 700 entries from people having the same medical issues as my dogs. I guess Purina is one of those companies where hundreds or thousands of pets have to die before they do anything.

  • Faith

    I’ve had great luck with Fromm Grain Free with my big guys and Merrick Grain Free cans for my senior doxies, I add boiled chicken and green beans as well. They have never been healthier.

  • Sheila

    What do you do with the UPC and lot code after you remove it from the box?

  • Jeff

    Yes, Bpf.co.nz does…stop feeding dry! dogs are supposed to eat moisture rich food like fresh meat that’s why they have pointy teeth.

  • This is why I cook all food and treats for my guys!!!!!

  • Jo

    The contaminated ingredient was parsley, which has joined organic baby spinach in recent recalls of both pet and human grade produce. Switching to a vegan dog food would not resolve this issue.

  • Lynn Bass

    My understanding is that the potential salmonella comes from human-grade parsley, so vegan dog food doesn’t really solve that problem. It just points to the same problem within our own food supply.

  • Deborah

    Since the parsley is suspected of contamination, vegan dog food won’t do you any good. But let me know if you find one that works well for your dog. I can’t find any. I, too was shocked to find a recall of Honest Kitchen. And I have one of those recalled products that has been not setting well with my dogs.

  • Can’t believe all of the recalls lately. Does ANYBODY make truly wholesome food for our pets??? I expected better from Honest Kitchen. Vegan dog food, here we come!