Orijen Pet Food Recall History
Has Orijen Pet Food Ever Been Recalled?
Yes, Orijen has been recalled once. The recall occurred in 2008 and was limited to cat food sold in Australia.
To date, Orijen has never issued any recalls for dog food or cat food sold in the United States or Canada. See below for more information regarding the 2008 Orijen recall.
List of Orijen Recalls
November 22, 2008
Orijen announced a voluntary recall for all Orijen cat food sold in Australia. The recall was issued after many cats became ill after consuming Orijen cat food.
Here is an initial statement provided by Champion Petfoods.
Champion Petfoods is working closely with the Australian veterinary community to conduct a comprehensive and ongoing program of laboratory tests. Although results are unable to link ORIJEN cat food to illness in cats, we are recalling our product as a precautionary measure.
The company highlighted that the localized nature of the incident lead them to believe that the irradiation treatment required by law was the culprit.
In Australia, prior to 2009, imported pet foods which included fresh meats or foods that were cooked at low temperatures, were legally required to undergo irradiation treatment.
Irradiation treatment is a process that passes Cobalt 60 gamma rays through food to reduce microbial hazards. According to an Orijen document, Australia was the only county to mandate this type of processing.
In 2009, the Australian government decided to ban cat food irradiation after reviewing "compelling overseas evidence that some cats can suffer fatal neurological damage after eating irradiated dry food."
Interestingly enough, only cats were becoming ill after consuming irradiated food. According to Champion Petfoods, the problem was that the irradiation process caused a depletion of vitamin A. Unlike dogs, cats cannot synthesize their own vitamin A and therefore would become deficient while consuming irradiated cat food.
Champion Pet Foods also claimed that the consumption of irradiated food leads to the formation and release of free radicals in the body. They claim that the release of free radicals into the body along with the vitamin A deficiency explain the symptoms shown in the Australian cats.
Even though dogs were not affected by the irradiated foods, there were concerns in regards to cats consuming dog food in duel pet households. In light of these concerns, Orijen decided to completely stop selling pet food in Australia.
Where is Orijen Pet Food Made?
Orijen is owned by a Canadian company known as Champion Petfoods. This company also owns another popular brand of pet food known as Acana. All Orijen and Acana pet food products are manufactured in the following facilities:
The first manufacturing facility is called the NorthStar Kitchen. This facility is located in Alberta, Canada.
The second facility is called the Dogstar Kitchen. This facility is situated on 85 acres of farmland in Kentucky, USA.
The NorthStar and Dogstar kitchens do not produce pet food for any other brands or any private labels. Both facilities exclusively produce Orijen and Acana pet food products.
Furthermore, the vast majority of ingredients used in Orijen products are sourced from Canadian suppliers. Here is a statement regarding ingredients pulled directly from the Orijen website:
We choose our ingredient partners carefully, and we set quality and nutritional standards to meet our own food standards. In Alberta, and other areas of Canada we’re connected to regional farmers, ranchers and fishermen whose values match our own, that we are proud to name. These suppliers provide fresh and custom ingredients that are GMO free, and sustainably and ethically produced. Fruit, vegetable and botanical ingredients will be of table quality, and all meat ingredients come from animals deemed fit for human consumption.
Is Orijen Pet Food Safe?
Absolutely! Although Orijen has been recalled once, the problem was linked to a legal requirement of irradiation imposed by the Australian government. After the recall was issued, Orijen took the initiative to conduct extensive laboratory testing and showed compelling proof that the mandatory irradiation caused cats to become sick.
The Australian government has accepted these findings (by Orijen and others) and has banned irradiation in cat food.
Champion Petfoods was founded in 1985, which means the company has operated for more than four decades without any recalls with the exception of the Australian recall.
The company makes all of its own pet food within its own manufacturing facilities. Most other pet food brands choose to outsource their manufacturing, which increases the likelihood of recalls and other problems. Controlling all stages of the manufacturing process is an outstanding benefit provided by Champion Petfoods.
Given this company's record, along with its professional and comprehensive response to the Australian recall, we have no reason to question the safety of Orijen pet food products.