⚠ Important recall information appears below.
Tracey Hatch-Rizzi and Janice Hatch-Rizzi started Radagast Pet Food in Portland, Oregon, in response to one of their cats having digestive issues and allergies.
They developed a formula working with their holistic veterinarian and saw a substantial improvement in their cat. They then fed the same recipe to their other 2 cats, and the results inspired them to manufacture the Rad Cat raw cat food lines.
In October 2018, the company ceased operations following a string of pet food recalls over several months.
Rad Cat said it had been unfairly “targeted by regulatory agencies,” with the company adding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “found something they could hook their claws in to with us and they pushed until we went under.”
We cover this in much more detail below.
Rad Cat Quick Facts
Brand line included: Free-Range Raw Turkey, Free-Range Raw Chicken, Pasture-Raised Raw Lamb, Grass-Fed Beef, Pasture-Raised Venison and Natural Pork Recipe
Company: Radagast Pet Food, Inc.
Headquarters: 3617 SE 17th Ave., Portland, OR 97202
Was Rad Cat Ever Recalled?
Yes, there were a number of Rad Cat recalls over the years, mostly because of the FDA’s concerns about pathogens like salmonella and listeria. In August 2018, the entire product lineup shipped out within a 15-month period was recalled — all recipes, all sizes.
On Oct. 15, 2018, the makers of Rad Cat announced the closure of their business, citing cash flow concerns related to the recent recalls combined with trouble collecting payments from investors and distributors.
The company stressed that there had been no trouble with the FDA regarding the cleanliness of its manufacturing facility, stating:
“Some rumors have begun that the FDA shut us down and that is a complete fabrication. We had one of the cleanest facilities and our inspectors and third party auditors complimented us on this during every visit (including the FDA, USDA and Oregon Department of Agriculture). We have never had a sanitation violation in any of our facilities, ever, including from recent visits from the FDA. Our shutdown was pure economics — cash not coming in fast enough.”
However, the company specifically stated it had felt “targeted” by the FDA:
“I know for a fact that we are not the only manufacturer that has been targeted by regulatory agencies. We were a small, undiversified raw food manufacturer and were an easy mark, and we knew it. But there wasn’t much we could do about it, especially with regulatory pressure that has been a part of our lives for much of this year. The FDA found something they could hook their claws in to with us and they pushed until we went under.”
For years, the federal safety agency has cautioned consumers against feeding raw food to pets, such as with its report “Get the Facts! Raw Pet Food Diets Can Be Dangerous to You and Your Pet.” According to the FDA, “raw pet food is more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria monocytogenes.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also warns against feeding a raw diet to your pets, stating, “Germs like salmonella and listeria bacteria have been found in raw pet foods, even packaged ones sold in stores. These germs can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.”
In short, major regulatory agencies are taking a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to pathogens like salmonella and listeria in raw pet foods.
The Hatch-Rizzis have set up a crowdfunding project to try to get Rad Cat up and running again.
List of Rad Cat Recalls
Cause: Potential for listeria. Announcement: FDA report dated Aug. 21, 2018 (archived here). What was recalled: The following Rad Cat Raw Diet products with lots numbers 62763 through 63101, in sizes ranging from 1 oz. samples to 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages:
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Grass-Fed Beef Recipe
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Lamb Recipe
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Natural Pork Recipe
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Turkey Recipe
- Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe
This was a significant expansion of a previous recall announced in July 2018, which was itself an expansion of yet another previous recall announced in March 2018. Now, instead of just a few recipes and a handful of lot codes, the entire product lineup shipped out within a 15-month period — all recipes, all sizes — was recalled.
Cause: Potential for listeria or E. coli. Announcement: Company news release dated July 6, 2018 (archived here). What was recalled: The following Rad Cat Raw Diet recipes, lot codes and dates:
- Free-Range Chicken, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages, Lot #63057, Best by Oct. 9, 2019
- Free-Range Chicken, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages, Lot #63069, Best by Oct. 23, 2019
- Free-Range Chicken, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages, Lot #63076, Best by Oct. 31, 2019
- Pasture-Raised Venison, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages plus 1 oz. samples, Lot #63063, Best by Oct. 15, 2019
Cause: Potential for listeria. Announcement: FDA report dated March 20, 2018 (archived here). What was recalled: The following Rad Cat Raw Diet recipes, lot codes and dates:
- Free-Range Chicken, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages, Lot #62762, Best by Oct. 19, 2018
- Free-Range Turkey, 8 oz., 16 oz. and 24 oz. packages, Lot #62926, Best by May 3, 2019
Cause: Potential for salmonella and/or listeria. Announcement: FDA report dated June 23, 2016 (archived here). What was recalled: The following Rad Cat Raw Diet recipes, lot codes and dates:
- Grass-Fed Beef, Lot #62384, Best by Feb. 6, 2017
- Grass-Fed Beef, Lot #62361, Best by Jan. 8, 2017
- Grass-Fed Chicken, Lot #62416, Best by March 14, 2017
- Grass-Fed Turkey, Lot #62372, Best by Jan. 21, 2017
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