Fungus Scare As Pet Food Recalled

Pet owners across the Eastern states are being warned this week against feeding their animals any of 19 Diamond Pet Food products that are made with corn and produced at the company's Gaston, South Carolina, facility. Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson cautioned pet owners after the company's recall of the products, which was precipitated by Diamond's discovery of aflatoxin in a product manufactured at the company's South Carolina plant. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of fungus on corn and some other crops.

The company has halted the distribution of the products to retail stores, and consumers who already have purchased the products are being asked to return them to the location at which they were purchased for a refund. Meanwhile, inspectors in Bronson’s department are checking feed stores, pet stores and other locations which sell Diamond Pet Food products to make sure that all of the suspect products have been removed from store shelves. Similar activity has followed in other Eastern states.

Based in Meta, Mo., family-owned Diamond Pet Foods was founded in 1970. Diamond is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of super-premium dog and cat food and the top choice of professional breeders, sporting and working dog owners and family pet owners. The Diamond pet food bags that may be contaminated are large bags with a capital ‘G’ in the 11th or 12th digit on the bar code. They have a best buy date between March 1, 2007 and June 10, 2007. The smaller bags have a ‘G’ in the 9th digit. The company has also opened an information center (details below).

According to Mark Brinkmann, general manager, Diamond Pet Foods, the Information Center is a vital link to answering customer questions and providing them with the assistance they need to protect the health of their pets.

"The Customer Information Center allows customers to speak directly to a veterinarian who can answer health-related questions and provide complete information about the products included in the recall. We’re committed to providing the most up-to-date information we receive, and will take aggressive steps to help our customers, retailers and distributors," Brinkmann said.

Clinical signs of aflatoxin include loss of appetite, yellow whites of the eyes, yellow gums, yellow in the belly or areas where hair is very thin, severe, persistent vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea, discolored urine, or fever. If your pet exhibits any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

Customers can contact the Information Center toll-free at 1-866-214-6945 to receive complete information on pet health concerns, along with a listing of the products and specific eastern states included in the recall. The Information Center will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. EST.

This news story is independently sourced and does not specifically endorse products or services offered by any company referenced in this article, or benefit from any association with any companies referenced.