Not as a surprise, State agriculture inspectors found “elevated levels of a toxic substance in some corn grains that were used at a Tennessee facility to make a brand of pet food for the Kroger Co.” The inspectors found aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin is a deadly mold prone to grow on grains common to some pet foods and treats. Elevated levels of aflatoxin (and other mycotoxins) are lethal, however even small amounts of mycotoxins can cause serious health consequences to the pet(s) that consumes them. (To learn more about mycotoxins read More than you Ever Wanted to Know about Mycotoxins). The mycotoxin at most risk grains are corn and wheat, and to a lesser extent barley and oats.
From the Tennessean.com “State agriculture investigators found elevated levels of a toxic substance in some corn grains that were used at a Tennessee facility to make a brand of pet food for the Kroger Co., which recalled the products late last month. “We took finished samples and grain samples that were stored and used to make pet food,” said Tom Womack, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, which conducted the inspection with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “We did find some elevated levels in some grains stored there,” Womack said.” http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110104/BUSINESS01/101040326/Recall+investigators+find+Kroger+pet-food+grains+had+elevated+toxin+level
Kroger told TruthaboutPetFood.com (in a December 20, 2010 email from Denise Osterhues, Corporate Affairs) “All Kroger manufacturing plants follow good manufacturing practices and are inspected regularly by state and federal agencies for compliance with food safety programs. We do have a testing program in place in all of our plants as well.”
The Pet Owning public doesn’t know if Kroger followed their ‘good manufacturing practices’ and if Kroger properly tested for mycotoxins with each shipment of grains (prior to manufacturing) and again tested the finished product (prior to distribution). Sadly, the Pet Owning public is rarely provided information of step by step safety procedures utilized by pet food manufacturers. Recall after recall, ‘they’ continue to ask us to trust them standing firm ‘they follow good manufacturing practices and have testing programs’. Few bother to give Pet Owners any proof.
But…even the most closely followed testing programs can miss mycotoxins. Let’s say – for example purposes – Pet Food Company A follows state of the art good manufacturing procedures, plus they test every ingredient prior to manufacturing. Pet Food Company A uses several corn ingredients in their pet foods and treats.
Below is a example drawing of a shipment of corn received by Pet Food Company A. Imagine the big yellow box is a one ton shipment of corn. The green circles mark two samples of corn removed from the corn shipment; these are two samples of grain removed for mycotoxin testing.
Good news for Pet Food Company A, both of the samples removed from the one ton shipment of corn tested negative for mycotoxins. But, the bad news is…
This illustration could be the reality. While it happened that Pet Food Company A did test two samples from the one ton shipment of corn (the green circles), the very real possibility is that all of the red circles are actual mycotoxin contamination. Five or six small areas of deadly mold growing, but not happed to be found in testing samples. The concern for mycotoxin testing is while one section within a ton of corn might be clean of mold, a section adjacent to or below could be contaminated. It all depends on where you test (and if you test).
Of further concern, one small section of moldy corn heavily contaminates a hundred pounds of pet food (one of those red dot sections of corn ends up in three or four bags of pet food), while the rest of the pet food produced from this grain shipment only has mild mycotoxin contamination. The pets that consume pet food heavily contaminated could easily die. However when these illnesses and deaths are reported to Pet Food Company A – Pet Food Company A tests their retained bag of pet food which happens to contain only mild mycotoxin contamination (showing a negative result).
Which is why I do not give my pets with any food or treat that contains corn or wheat.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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