Pets and consumers got Scrooged again with a flurry of recall notices released by FDA today amidst a cloud of black smoke from Ebeneezer’s coal plant. Three pet food recall press releases languished, gathering a thick layer of dust, for over two weeks at the FDA until they finally got around to publishing the additional dog foods discovered contaminated with aflatoxin.
Spreading like a cancerous mold, the recalls continue to cover more brands, those brands are consumed by more pets, leaving in it’s path a devastating wake of illness and disease, mistrust and anger.
Aflatoxins are amongst the most potent genotoxic and carcinogenic toxic substances that occurs in nature. It is an under-recognized and underreported cause of liver damage in pets. Despite knowing that aflatoxins are known to cause cancer in animals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows them at low levels because they are considered “unavoidable contaminants.” How nice.
Today the FDA published a recall for a pet food manufactured by Cargill under a private label for Petrus Feed & Seed Stores, Inc. As with previous dog foods manufactured by Cargill, the dog food was produced for at least one year before it was discovered, rather belatedly, the pet food was made using corn contaminated with aflatoxin.
Petrus Feed And Seed Stores, Inc. Recalls Its 21% Dog Food (this recall notice has since disappeared from the FDA website)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (I love that) – December 12, 2011 – Petrus Feed and Seed Stores, Inc. today announced a voluntary recall of its dry dog food – 21% Protein Dog Food in 40 lb Petrus Feed bags. The product is being recalled because the product was manufactured with corn which tested above acceptable levels for Aflatoxin. The affected products were manufactured at Cargill’s manufacturing facility located in LeCompte, Louisiana between December 1, 2010 and December 1, 2011.
The recall only applies 21% Dog Food, packaged in 40 lb Petrus Feed bags with the following packaging date codes (lot numbers) LL1001 – LL1335.
Updated New Release With Corrected Lot Numbers Petrus Feed And Seed Stores, Inc. Recalls Its 21% Dog Food
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (well, not quite) – December 14, 2011 – Petrus Feed and Seed Stores, Inc. today announced a voluntary recall of its dry dog food – 21% Protein Dog Food in 40 lb Petrus Feed bags. The product is being recalled because the product was manufactured with corn which tested above acceptable levels for Aflatoxin. The affected products were manufactured at Cargill’s manufacturing facility located in LeCompte, Louisiana between December 1, 2010 and December 1, 2011.
After some confusion with lot numbers, a recall notice correcting a non-existant recall notice, and finally a recall notice that completely vanished from the FDA website hours after it was published today, I called Petrus. I was surprised to learn from Petrus of a third, yet unannounced, recall for another lot of Petrus Brand 21% Protein Dog Food in 40 lb bags also manufactured between December 1, 2010 through December 1, 2011 lot numbers 4K0335 – 4K0365 are contaminated with aflatoxin.
To clarify, lot numbers LL1001 – LL1335 are still a valid part of the recall, according to Petrus, even though the recall notice the FDA posted regarding this lot mysteriously disappeared later today from the FDA website. The recall notice the FDA updated from an unpublished recall notice for Petrus Brand 21% Protein Dog Food affecting lot numbers 4K1011 – 4K1307 was expanded and updated to 4K1011 – 4K1335. Got it? Good. Whew.
Finally, another belated recall notice for yet another Cargill private label brand dog food manufactured for O’Neal’s Feeders Supply, Inc. Arrow Brand Dog Food (reported here on December 12, 2011) eventually surfaced today on the FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Notices website, 16 days after the date on the press release. Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s for the same reason (aflatoxin) and it also was manufactured for a year before Cargill tested their corn and found it was (suprise!) contaminated with a carcinogen. Oops. I hate it when that happens.
O’Neal’s Feeders Supply, Inc. Recalls Arrow Brand Dry Dog Food
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (zzzzzz) – December 13, 2011 – DeRidder, Louisiana – O’Neal’s Feeders Supply, Inc. today announced a voluntary recall of its dry Arrow Brand DOG FOOD – because it contains corn which was detected to have higher than the acceptable levels of aflatoxin.. The affected products were manufactured between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 1, 2011. No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date.
Affected products are:
ARROWBRAND 21% Dog Chunks SKU #807 40 lb. bag
ARROWBRAND Super Proeaux Dog Food SKU #812 40 lb. bag
ARROWBRAND Professional Formula Dog Food SKU #814 50 lb. bag
The recall only applies to the above products with the following Packaging Date Codes Lot numbers 4K0341 through 4K0365 and 04K1001 through 4K1325. (NOTE: the same two lot numbers as the Petrus brand dog food, above).
“At Cargill, we have streamlined our processes to protect our products and our customers’ profitability. Our methods for the rendering of cattle carcasses are a superb example. There is little to no waste. Inedible tallow is used for pet food, ruminant feeds and industrial uses. Edible tallow is sold to refiners. Meat and bone meal is used for non-ruminant feeds, pet food, gelatin and additional uses in the food, pharmaceutical and film industries. Perhaps the phrase should be waste not, use more?”
Phyllis Entis, the Food Bug Lady at eFoodAlert, wrote a brilliant article today summing up the pet food debacle in words that speak to a problem exemplified by the recent cluster of pet food recalls. I highly recommend reading it: FDA, Aflatoxin and Pet Food Recalls.
Petrus Feed And Seed Stores, Inc. Recalls Its 21% Dog Food (UPDATE: article has since been pulled from FDA website today re: lot numbers LL1001 – LL1335)