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Protect Your Pups: Hy-Vee Recalls Dog Food Over Toxic Corn Mold Fears

No illnesses have been reported, but dog owners should be on alert.

 |  Feb 26th 2013  |   0 Contributions


The Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain announced Friday a recall for five product lines of its branded dog food, but it has nothing to do with the recent recalls over Salmonella risks or unauthorized antibiotics in jerky treats made in China.

No, this one has to do with corn; specifically the "prevalence of a problematic mold in last year's U.S. corn crop," according to Reuters.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture, conducting random routine tests, found by the higher-than-normal levels of aflatoxin in some samples of Hy-Vee dog food produced at a Kansas City plant operated by Pro-Pet LLC.

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Aflatoxin is the byproduct of a mold that flourishes in dry conditions, which was the case during last year's drought. Dog owners should be on high alert: Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring poision that can cause illness and death if consumed.

"Last year's corn crop -- it is a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads," said Michael Wright, chief executive officer of Pro-Pet, according to Reuters. "Anybody using corn has to be very selective."

The company says no illnesses have been reported, but if your pet has eaten from suspect bags, be on the lookout for symptoms of illness including "sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea."

The corn had been tested before it was blended into the dog food, and Pro-Pet even said it had tested finished products as well. Nevertheless, the Iowa Department of Agriculture discovered the toxin through a routine sampling process -- specifically, it pulled a bag off a store shelf in Iowa.

Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer says she's not surprised at the findings.

"The toxin becomes more prevalent in a drought year," Comer said. "We had worse drought this past year than we've had in years, so it's not totally surprising that we have a bigger aflatoxin problem this year than in the past."

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Pat Tovey of the Pet Food Institute says that preventing aflatoxin contamination is a high priority for the industry.

"There is certainly more awareness this year," he said. "This is such a big issue in pet food."

The affected products were distributed to stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin between Oct. 26, 2012, and Jan. 11, 2013:

Hy-Vee Complete Dog -– Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) -– 34 lbs.
UPC: 07545005647
Lot # ending with: 29812KC
“Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog -– Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) -– 8-lbs.
UPC: 07545005667
Lot # ending with: 29812KC
“Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog –- Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) –- 4.4-lbs.
UPC: 07545005665
Lot # ending with: 29812KC
“Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog –- Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) -– 4.4-lbs.
UPC: 07545005665
Lot # ending with: 29912KC
“Best By” Date: 11/25/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog -– Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) –- 20-lbs.
UPC: 07545005680
Lot # ending with: 29312KC
“Best By” Date: 11/19/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog –- Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) –- 4.4-lbs.
UPC: 07545005560
Lot # ending with: 29312KC
“Best By” Date: 11/19/13

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-289-8343.

Via Reuters

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