FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22, 2010
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division
Kroger pet food recall initiated after testing at NCDA&CS labs
RALEIGH –Tests done at two state laboratories in west Raleigh are responsible for the Kroger pet food recall in 19 states. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ vet and feed labs were both involved in discovering the presence of aflatoxin in dog food after the deaths of several North Carolina dogs.
In late November, a cocker spaniel was necropsied at the Veterinary Division’s Rollins Diagnostic Laboratory and feed samples were referred to another laboratory after a pathologist identified liver damage consistent with aflatoxicosis. The feed sample came back with a high percentage of aflatoxin.
Last week, additional bags of food were collected and taken to the feed laboratory, part of the N.C. Food and Drug Protection Division’s Constable Laboratory system, after other dogs from the same kennel also died with symptoms consistent with aflatoxicosis. Lab tests showed high levels of aflatoxins in the dog food.
The dog food was traced to a plant in Tennessee, and NCDA&CS officials notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Tennessee officials about the problem. The distributor, Kroger, voluntarily recalled bags of Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food, Old Yeller Chunks Dog Food, Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food and Kroger Value Cat Food with expiration dates of Oct. 23 and 24, 2011.
“Kroger should be commended for their cooperation in this investigation and for quickly recalling the affected pet food,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Anyone who has bags of this dog and cat food should immediately stop feeding it to their animals.
“This is an example of the importance of the food, drug and feed testing that we provide. Testing not only protects humans and our food chain, but also the companion animals that enrich our lives,” Troxler added.
Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and animals. Young and pregnant animals are especially vulnerable to the toxin.
To help prevent aflatoxin from reaching the food chain, the N.C. feed lab does free aflatoxin testing of corn that is to be used for feed.