Coordinating Pet Food Testing On


We’ve opened up a special board for posting, coordinating and sharing results about pet food tests thanks to your suggestions. You can now go to ItchmoForums.

We’ll have posted our recommendation on how to document a chain of evidence after the jump. It’s not absolutely foolproof, but we believe that any reasonable person would be convinced that the bag was properly sealed and delivered.

You can post this information (minus any private data) for safe third-party recordkeeping on the ItchmoForums.

Establishing a chain of evidence:

  1. Purchase the item to be tested from a well-known store. Doesn’t have to be high-end, just someone who will stay in business.
    1. If you want, you can take a non-relative with you as a witness.
    2. Pick bag that does not have rips or openings and clearly shows the lot number.
  2. Keep a copy of the receipt with the SKU displayed on the receipt.
  3. Take a picture of the container of food
    1. From the front to show brand and formula
    2. From the openings to show that they are sealed
    3. Of the lot number and expiration date
  4. Seal the bag of food using a non-reactive materials like plastic wrap.
  5. Take a picture of the item sealed.
  6. Store the item in a dry, secure place that does not contain other chemicals like household cleaners, pool cleaners or drugs.
  7. Ship the entire bag in a box to the lab of your choice. The box ensures that the bag will not be opened by accident.
  8. Make sure you use a service like UPS that allows you to track the package.
    1. Print the shipping receipt for evidence.
  9. Make sure that the lab notes the correct lot number and the fact that the bag arrived sealed in the lab report.

27 Responses to “Coordinating Pet Food Testing On”

  1. Debbie4747 says:

    Ben, thanks again. This site is just so invaluable. My only wish is that none of this is happeneing and your site would be used just for what you initally intended it for. But in the meantime, you and your pretty wife are doing a terrific job with this board.

  2. Ann Jackson says:

    The forum for the pet food test results is an excellent idea. Thank you, Itchmo, for staying a step ahead of everyone on this issue and for giving us a chance to learn the truth for ourselves.

  3. Susan says:

    Ben, we love you and Emily! What a great idea.

  4. KatieKat says:

    Thank you so much Itchmo for keeping everything together and getting all the info our furkids need to stay alive!!

    But it is a sad day when we have to go to the lengths that we are as consumers to prove that these companies foods are tainted!

    I think there are enough people out there in Itchmo land and other blogs, I say we all pull together and each family that can, purchase one of the non recalled foods and have it tested per, Itchmo’s chaince of evidence post.

    Ben & Emily is there anyway to be able to keep track of this? of who the volunter tester would be be and the food they chose, then later the lab results…..

  5. HomeGrown says:

    My, my, what a sad day when the citizens have to have food tested themselves to protect their pets and their families. The pet food companies won’t recall food unless backed into a corner. And lately it is the ordinary (or should I say Unordinary) citizens who are the heros and watching out for the good of the people and the animals. The FDA only inspects 1% of imports? In my opinion might as well dismantle them all together. 1%?……Pfffft!

  6. Kristi says:

    I am going to send in an opened bag of Hills z/d that my dog would not touch. I should have to search out another bag with the same lot numbers and buy it, ($23) and then pay for it to be tested too?

  7. Kristi says:

    Also, while I highly commend the Texas lab that has done this recent work, it may be helpful to seek out additional labs so that no one can say it was their protocols - that it only was found in one lab. Get a list of half-a dozen good labs, and then just flip coins or something to get a random selection.

  8. Wendy44 says:

    Is there a picture of Ben and Emily? We’ll need one to make the campaign posters for their presidential run. It would be nice to have someone with a brain in the White House after 8 years of boobery.

  9. KitKat says:

    Be aware that if you are shipping food samples from a foreign country ito any lab in the USA, they are all subject to examination by the USFDA.

  10. Gina Spadafori says:

    Ben, Emily — and Nemo! :)

  11. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Such a cute family!!!

  12. Wendy44 says:

    Wow, what a beautiful photo. Gorgeous flowers and dress! Ben and Emily you have created such a haven for us worried pet parents. We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ben and Emily…and Nemo. Thanks for your incredible efforts. Great picture—you are all beautiful!!!

    Nadine Long

  14. Labs Forever says:

    Have sent in 5 items of dry dog foods/treats (California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice, NutroMax-Large Breed for Puppies, Diamond Variety Medium Biscuits, NuproSupplements and Tizwhiz) for testing to Expertox to verify that the companies findings of “Being Safe” to give to our labs and a puppy as have plenty of the bags of foods/treats. Started having problems in March and several vet bills, did UA tests, UA C&S, including x-rays, blood tests, etc. Have organized the data. Never have had problems with our labs until March - May of this year. The FDA in Cincinnati said our dogs symptoms were not the same…our dogs did not die, asked about early symptoms - had no answer, the gentleman said “Not to send the food items to them, they have to send it out and pay, so have to send to our own laboratory. He was pleased to get the information on the foods with the numbers, but no follow-up from the agency. When I get the results will be pleased to give you copies, regardless of the findings.
    Question…If the food item for testing is out of the same “LOT” and production line, then all of that food should be recalled, isn’t that what happens to vaccines for humans???? I really like the “Silent Recall” and suggest someone start that, as auto makers have done that for years! Does someone have the data organized from the blogs of dogs/cats sickened, symptoms/diagnosis/lab results from their vets, outcomes of monitoring/dates and the food they were eating, including the changes in diet that improved the heatlh of those fortunate to be living?

  15. e wem says:

    it is good to learn of any lab that does such tests. I was searching our local directories and it is difficult to know who is what and how good are they. I even worry about the impartiality of testers, in case they get most of their income from businesses.

    This place is too cool. Instead of just complaining people are doing something pro-active that might help all pet owners

  16. PonceMom says:

    Intertek-Caleb Brett in Houston is doing testing of pet food.

  17. PonceMom says:

    Having worked in a testing lab, it would be better if you could deliver the sample in person for chain of custody purposes.

  18. Boot says:

    Great idea to test our pet food. By the way, where are the animal welfare organizations? We sure could use their help to fund independent testing of pet food. Or, perhaps we could start our own ‘kitty’ fund to provide for pet food testing. That way, we could test on an ongoing basis.

  19. Wendy44 says:

    Labs Forever: Please let us know as soon as you get the results, my dog eats California Nautural Lamb and Rice

  20. pam says:

    just want to say thanks to ben & emily…this site has kept me sane and my animals safe. you are the new york times and wall street journal of this pet food nightmare. chopper, princess, wolfie and i are so grateful…

  21. YaYa says:

    Icthmo Admin:
    Do you have a P.O. Box address that we can send our donations/funds into for all of this?

    Sure would appreciate one!


    P.S. Will this particular post stay on the Front page of the website, or at least be ‘refreshed’ for the front page, so we can get to it {and new pet parents see it}?? {it has all the directions and link for the Forums for this too in it etc.}

    ITCHMO ADMIN: If you wish to send us a check, please email us and we’ll provide a mailing address. We will promote the testing instructions in future recall updates.

  22. D. Lane says:

    I have been trying unsuccessfully to find a lab to test my dogs food. I have had a very sick dog and have done all Doctors test. Dog better now off dry food. But the only lab I have fund after calling 36 is the one in Houston and one in Florida but they will charge ANOTHER 500. after all my vet bills- I can not afford to do this. Any more suggestions of a more reasonably priced lab?

  23. Itchmo » Blog Archive » Recall Update: Monday says:

    […] Here’s our guide to making sure your test results are as accurate and trustworthy as possible. Share your test results with other pet owners and coordinate testing in this thread in our forums. […]

  24. K. Hettig says:

    We have had a pond with a waterfall for over 3 years now. In it are a mix of 36 Koi and goldfish. We have kept everything the same in taking care of them. Two weeks ago, my husband bought a different brand of food for them, called “Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery Koi & Goldfish Food All Season”. Our fish did not like it. They started acting different. Every day we started to find dead fish. We spent $200 on oxygen plants and a new bubbler, thinking that might be the problem. Yesterday, we watched them on their side dying in the water. Our last resort was to try and drain the pond as much as we felt safe to do so. Today, we have 2 Koi and 1 goldfish left. The frogs are still alive though. We are not sure it was the food, it was just the only thing we did different in the 3 years. If someone knows about anything else that could have went wrong, please let us know. Thanks

  25. Itchmo » Blog Archive » Recall Update: Thursday says:

    […] Here’s our guide to making sure your test results are as accurate and trustworthy as possible. Share your test results with other pet owners and coordinate testing in this thread in our forums. […]

  26. Cathy says:

    Are there any recommendations for which labs to use that are reasonably priced and reputable? I’ve looked online and am not sure how to choose a reputable lab. Prices are all over the place. Frankly, my MasterCard has $5k in vet bills, my dog is dead and as much as I would like to help other pets, I have to be sure my dollars are not going to be wasted by someone else who just wants to make a buck.

    Also, if something does show in the testing, what do I do with that information? I really appreciate all of the information I get here, however, I’ve sent email to this site and a few others and haven’t received replies, so I don’t even know if they are read.


  27. Itchmo: News, fun and product info for cats, dogs and pet owners. » Recall Update: Friday says:

    […] Here’s our guide to making sure your test results are as accurate and trustworthy as possible. Share your test results with other pet owners and coordinate testing in this thread in our forums. […]

E-mail It