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Cargill Recalls River Run and Marksman Dog Foods for High Levels of Aflatoxin

Two dry dog foods manufactured by Cargill Animal Nutrition brands are being recalled today, the Marksman Dry Dog Food and Nutrena brand River Run Dry Dog Food due to high levels of aflatoxin.

Cargill recently discovered that their method for testing for aflatoxin had not been working properly for the past year. The result: grains with high levels of aflatoxin went into their dog food brands between December 1, 2010, and December 1, 2011, which were subsequently sold to unsuspecting consumers. Cargill provides an explanation of how this happened:

First, we owe you an explanation. Corn containing higher-than-acceptable levels of a naturally occurring substance called aflatoxin was delivered to our plant in Lecompte, Louisiana. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring result of mold. We test the corn that comes to our plant before it goes into our pet food. We recently discovered our tests were not working as they should and reported it to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

Second, we owe you a promise to fix it. Specifically, here are some measures we have taken: We have made sure our tests are working properly and no longer underestimating aflatoxin levels.

This morning the FDA announced the recall of the Cargill brand dog foods with the following information:

Cargill Animal Nutrition Recalls River Run and Marksman Dry Dog Food

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 6, 2011 – Cargill Animal Nutrition today announced a voluntary recall of two regional brands of its dry dog foodRiver Run and Marksman – due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit. The affected products were manufactured at Cargill’s Lecompte, Louisiana, facility between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 1, 2011. No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Cargill Animal Nutrition pet food products are involved in this recall.

Affected products are:

NUTRENA DOG RIVER RUN 21% Protein Dog Food, 40 and 50 pound bags
NUTRENA DOG RIVER RUN Hi-Pro No-Soy Dog Food, 40 and 50 pound bags
MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 24% Protein 20% Fat, 40 pound bags
MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 20% Protein 10% Fat, 40 and 50 pound bags
MARKSMAN DOG FOOD 28% Protein 18% Fat, 40 pound bags

The recall only applies to the above products with the following Packaging Date Codes (lot numbers): 4K0335 through 4K0365, LL0335 through LL0365, 4K1001 through 4K1335 and LL1001 through LL1335.

The affected dry dog food products were distributed in the following 15 states/territories – Kansas, Missouri, Northeast Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Southeast Indiana, Southern Illinois, Hawaii, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and limited areas of Florida and California.  Retailers have already been instructed to remove the affected brands and products from store shelves.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Cargill is implementing this recall as a precautionary measure.  Consumers are urged to return affected products – whether in opened or unopened packages — to their place of purchase for a full refund.  For more information, including photos of products involved, consumers can go to or call toll-free 855-460-1532.

Pets that have consumed any of the above-recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.


FDA Recall Notice
Cargill Recall Notice


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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.