Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall of 2015


July 7, 2015 — Carnivore Meat Company of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has announced it is voluntarily recalling two batches of its Vital Essentials raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Listeria bacteria.1

Listeria is not only dangerous to dogs, it can also be deadly to small children, the elderly and those with auto immune disorders.

Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Tripe Patties

Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Tripe Niblets

What’s Being Recalled?

The lots involved in this voluntary recall include:

  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Patties
    UPC 33211 00809
    Lot # 10930
    Best by date 20160210
  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Nibblets
    UPC33211 00904
    Lot # 10719
    Best by date 12022015

The “Best By” date code and lot numbers are located on the back of each package.

No other product manufactured by the company is involved in this voluntary recall.

Where Was It Sold?

The affected product was distributed in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Why Was It Recalled?

The U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration tested product and alerted Carnivore Meat Company that the product tested positive for Listeria.

Listeria is a bacteria commonly found in soil and water and some animals.

What to Do?

If you are a consumer and have purchased a bag of the affected product are invited to call 920-370-6542 Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM CT.

A representative will assist you in obtaining replacement or a full refund from your local retailer for your original purchase.

If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw treats in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle.

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

Or go to

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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  1. Via direct press release to The Dog Food Advisor 7/7/2015
  • Voluntary Recall Letter from CEO of Vital Essentials, 1-14-2016

    “I believe it is vitally important to keep our customers informed of news in real time. Within the next 24 hours we will be participating in a voluntary recall of a single limited batch of Vital Essentials branded Frozen Chicken Patties Entrée for Dogs.

    The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) selected and tested product as part of a national collection initiative, which was issued by the Center of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) on June 3, 2015. The FDA notified Carnivore Meat Company that some of the product tested positive for Salmonella, a bacteria commonly associated with fresh and frozen poultry, in both human and pet products.

    There have been no customer complaints reported. No other product manufactured by Carnivore or VE is involved in this voluntary recall.

    We pride ourselves on the overall quality of our pet food, and we believe taking this precautionary step was the most appropriate thing to do. As always please feel free to call with any questions you may have.

    The recall phone line is 920-370-6542.

    Thank you for your loyalty, support of our brand and products and your commitment to feeding our, Alpha Prey Model diet. We remain committed to providing pure, natural, non-sterilized, 100% RAW food and treats, just as God intended!

    I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this might cause.

    Lanny Viegut, CEO
    Vital Essentials”

  • Crazy4dogs

    I find it very interesting that both companies are from Wisconsin and within 150 miles of each other.
    Here’s the FDA link on listeria. It seems it is only a problem for High Risk, the usual, immune compromised, pregnant, elderly. I also find it interesting that it naturally occurs in soil and water and survives refrigeration.

    Some cut n pastes from the link:

    Listeriosis, an infection caused by Listeria, can pose major risks for certain populations. Namely, pregnant women, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems are at greater risk.

  • Mary McCulley

    Can you list your suppliers?

  • Zach


  • Good Morning Zach, Thanks for asking about the Freeze-dried Tripe. The Freeze-dried Tripe is fine. Feed with confidence. Only the two small limited batches of Frozen Beef Tripe products, with lot numbers that match the recall notice are affected. For more Q & A please visit our recall notice on our website.!tripe-recall/c1yt2

  • Shawna

    It appears that listeria isn’t even an issue, except for immune compromised, in humans. I also found it interesting the foods suggested to avoid for those seriously immune compromised folks.

    “People at High Risk (Pregnant women and people with weak immune systems)

    Do not eat hot dogs or lunch meats unless they are heated to a temperature sufficient to kill Listeria bacteria

    Avoid getting liquid from hot dog packages on other food

    Wash hands after handling hot dogs and lunch and deli meats

    Do not eat soft cheeses (e.g. feta, Brie, Camembert, blue cheese, and queso blanco) unless the label clearly states that they are pasteurized

    Do not eat refrigerated pâté or meat spread, only canned or shelf-stable ones

    Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, sometimes labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” or “jerky.” Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood is ok”

    I wonder how many folks feed their dogs hotdogs right out of the package?

  • Zach

    Does the recall include the freeze dried variants of these treats?

  • Dori

    Thanks for posting this Aimee. I’m in the process of sharing this with others.

  • aimee

    I found this regarding Listeria. From this report it seems this food may have been tested after a dog was diagnosed with Listeria.

    Don’t know if the media got this right but thought it interesting.

  • Cissy Labbate

    My heart dropped when I saw the recall was for VE! My dogs have been on a rotation of VE Raw Duck and Wild Boar Patties for about six months now and are doing fantastic! It’s the only commercial raw food my Bull Terriers do well on. I truly hope it stops at that and nothing more comes from this. Thank you dogfoodadviser for helping to keep people informed on these matters!

  • Christine Daley

    That is why companies use HPP which is supposed to kill bacteria without cooking and removing all the natural health benefits. I use natures variety raw medallions without incident as a topper on dry kibble!! I do stay away from the chicken but do use the venison, lamb, duck and beef. So far so good!!

  • IcePonyGirl

    Stella and Chewy’s and now…this brand!? 🙁

  • Kathy Niskala

    I use to follow his diets too, and with all the supplements,but always unsure if my dogs were getting everything they need,unless one has a background in nutrition,I would rather leave it to the professionals..and stay on the best commercial diets and rotate them..

  • Ron Yospur

    I would never feed raw chicken,beef lamb etc. unless I was raising the animals. Every package of raw meat
    that I buy at the grocery store recommends that the product be cooked to 165 degrees or more to prevent salmonella.

  • Aunjel Thomas

    K9 craving has never had a recall that I’m aware of.

  • Aunjel Thomas

    I can’t stand dog food. All his issues are popping up now and he never had issues on a raw diet.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    That’s what I thought too. However, the S&C’s was chicken, and this is beef. It still could be the same supplier, or possibly just an unfortunate coincidence.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It does seem odd, 2 Listeria in less than a week, but who knows? Possibly a bad supplier?

  • Lorrie McClain

    This is the FDA in bed with crap food companies like Purina. They know raw is a threat and are trying to run them out. I call BS on the FDA and will never stop feeding raw. Kibble is crap!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I hope not! I’ve used NV too! Pups are great and enjoying long walks! Thanks for asking! How are yours?

  • Christine Daley

    Hi crazy. What do you make of all this?? As you know I use natures variety raw!! Are they next?? Scary!!!! Hope you and the pups are great!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Fortunately(maybe), I’ve got Bravo & Northwest Naturals in my freezer right now. What’s up with a Listeria outbreak?

  • Lee Rowan

    I’m beginning to think the Pitcairn recipe is the way to go. It’s a lot of work but not as much as caring for a really sick dog.

  • Kathy Niskala

    Good Point Mary,just got off the phone with North West Naturals,which I use,they do not use the same distributors or facilities at all, it is all in house, never sent out and is made at a human meat facility ,which they have even stricter protocols in place,than at just pet food facilities.Their meat is human grade or they couldn’t make it at a facility that makes meat for humans.But even the meat we eat can have recalls,so we just have to be careful,and listen about any recalls.

  • aquariangt

    If you’re a raw feeder of any brand right now, I’d get on the horn with VE and S+C and find out the suppliers, and then start calling who you do feed to double check

  • aquariangt

    I dunno. I don’t feed raw at the moment, but dry has a lot of recalls as well. Not sure if you can avoid them other than staying diligent on the brands. Sad thing is these were both two pretty solid ones. I would say the ultimate safest thing is still to cook or feed homemade raw with proper formulations.

  • Mary McCulley

    Really want to know where the original supplier of these meat products are located, since it could be in multiple other products and distributors.

  • Crazy4cats

    I was just kind of thinking the same thing. : /

  • Kathy Niskala

    Stella and Chewey’s…. Now Vital Essentials…Bravo got hit hard last year,it’s getting hard to trust the Raw commercial foods anymore,maybe we should just stay with dry and add our own cooked toppers….