FDA Announces Major Recall on 18 Dog Food Brands
In September, the FDA announced a recall of products from three dog food brands potentially affected by a toxin created by mold. Now, the agency has tacked 15 more brands onto that list.
Sunshine Mills, the maker of several brands of pet food, is at the center of the controversy. Last week, the FDA updated the public, warning that 18 of the company's dog food brands could be tainted with aflatoxin. According to the agency, "Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets." (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply)
On Sept. 2, Sunshine Mills announced a recall on certain pet food products after the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry found an unsafe level of the toxin in one sample. Then, on Oct. 8, the manufacturer expanded its recall to include multiple other products from 15 other brands, which prompted the FDA to issue an advisory.
A comprehensive list of the products and brands potentially affected by the contamination can be found here. Among the new brands affected include Heartland Farms, Hunter's Special Dog Food, Old Glory, and Top Runner.
This list is apt to grow as the FDA continues to investigate, however, in the interim, it's important to completely dispose of any pet food products that have already been identified as being susceptible to contamination. Since dogs rely heavily on these dried foods, they have less variety in their diets, which means they are at higher risk of consuming a dangerous amount of aflatoxin. This type of toxin can accumulate in the dog's system over time, and symptoms of poisoning can be delayed.
According to the FDA, symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets include loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and sluggishness. This type of toxicity can also cause long-term liver issues or death in pets if left untreated.
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