In the past few days we've gotten a few questions on our last production run that we wanted to answer publicly for everyone.
Question: Production took a long time, is the product safe?
We are currently feeding the new lot of Cat Chicken to our family of 6 cats.
As we shared in Updated #3 we had the independent laboratory Certified Laboratories test our product for Salmonella, Listeria, and E.coli after we applied cold pasteurization (HPP) to the product in its final form. This is the exact same process we follow for every lot that we produce. You can examine the results of the four lots here: Click for Lab Certification
Question: The product has a strong unpleasant odor, is the product safe?
The strong odor is due to the oxidation that occurred as a result of the trucking delay before we applied HPP. Any bacterial growth was killed by cold pasteurization.
Question: What is the dark layer/skin on the outside of the product?
This is the oxidized layer noted above and is the source of the strong unpleasant odor.
Question: Help: The odor is making it difficult for our furfam to eat it!
We sincerely apologize and empathize, we did not put our best foot forward with this lot.
Our furfam will eat the dark layer and has suffered no ill effect but is certainly not ecstatic about it.
We will begin the process to make more food on Monday. However, given that it takes about 3-4 weeks to produce food, the best we can do right now are the following two less than ideal solutions:
1. Try removing the dark layer. To our nose this eliminates the smell and our furfam is now happy as ever to eat the product. This will remove roughly 35% of the product by weight. If this works for you, let us know and we'll refund 50% of the product price for your current and future orders until we can replace inventory with new product.
2. Let us know if removing the dark layer is not an option and we will refund the full purchase price. We fully understand that this is a messy and unpleasant task. We hope that you'll continue to follow us and look for our next updated inventory announcement.
Question: Why was this production different? (I missed the updates)
Production for these lots were impacted by multiple issues that were outside of our control.
First, our production partner informed us at the end of our production safety margin (mid June) that they were going to be unable to fulfill our production request which we'd made back in April.
Second, the only trusted option that we had available to make food on short notice is in Denver, CO. This required us to move our premixes and oils from Wisconsin to Denver. Unfortunately, our trucking partner was apparently shorthanded so our shipment stayed on the truck in Denver for an extra week.
Third, as we hadn't worked with our Denver production partner in about a year, it took an extra week to source certain ingredients that we order for each production (egg yolks).
Fourth, our product refrigerated shipment from Denver to our cold pasteurization partner in Wisconsin was also delayed by a week for unknown reasons (this delay caused the excessive oxidization).
Note: it is important that the product is held at refrigerator temperature and not frozen as cold pasteurization cannot work on frozen product, so even a single ice crystal has to be avoided.
Finally, we felt it prudent to introduce a new delay and have samples shipped to us to make sure the product was still in reasonable shape after the delay in shipping.
The upshot is that the combined delays resulted in the oxidization and unpleasant odor.
Question: How are you going to ensure consistency in the future?