Diamond Identifies Contaminated Pet Food

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Contaminated Pet Food
Picture(s): AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

Jan. 12, 2006 — The broad voluntary recall last month of pet food by Diamond Pet Foods was narrowed Wednesday to two products, from an initial list of 19.

The pet foods in question were contaminated by aflatoxin, a toxic and potentially deadly chemical.

Testing of more than 2,700 finished product samples found that Diamond Maintenance Dog and Diamond Premium Adult Dog with “Best By” dates of April 3, April 4, April 5 and April 11, 2007, were affected by aflatoxin, according to a company press release.

Diamond Pet Foods also said those two products would have a capital “G” in the 11th or 12th position of the date code on 18- to 55-pound bags. The “G” would be in the 9th position on smaller, 4- to 8-pound bags, it said.

The “G” refers to the company’s facility in Gaston, S.C.

Diamond also tested its pet food brands Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul and Premium Edge for aflatoxin, but found them negative.

“This testing will help our customers better identify products affected,” said Mark Brinkmann, chief operations officer at Missouri-based Diamond Pet Foods.

Aflatoxin, or Aspergillus flavus, is a toxic chemical by-product of mold that grows on grain. The affected Diamond pet foods were manufactured with corn that was contaminated with aflatoxin, which subsequently killed dozens of pets across the United States, according to news reports.

The company tests its corn shipments for aflatoxin before including it in its pet foods. According to the news reports, Brinkmann said it seemed that the company’s sampling method missed a pocket of aflatoxin in one of the shipments.

When the company recalled the toxic pet food on Dec. 21, Brinkmann said in a press statement: “Our highest priority right now is the health and well-being of our customers’ pets.”

“We are committed to keeping our customers informed and are taking aggressive steps to resolve this issue. We’re proud of our long history of producing high quality and safe products and deeply regret that this situation has occurred,” he said.

Brinkmann urged pet owners who suspect their pet is ill from aflatoxin to consult their veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms include jaundice, lack of appetite, depression, bloody stools and excessive bleeding.

The states affected by the recall are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Vermont and Virginia.

Copyright © 2006 Discovery Communications Inc.

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