Cape Town – Food manufacturer Foodcorp is recalling several of its dry dog food products from supermarket shelves after some were found to be contaminated by toxins.
Bobtail, Dogmor, Bonzo and “certain dealer own-brands” manufactured by Foodcorp have reportedly been ordered from the shelves nationally.
The contaminated batch could cause vomiting in dogs and low weight gain.
Foodcorp media spokesman Stephen Heath said the food was recalled because of the contamination by deoxynivalenol mycotoxin (DON).
“As a precautionary measure we decided to swiftly withdraw all potentially affected products from the trade with immediate effect, and increase the frequency of internal tests on all raw materials delivered to our facility.”
Commonly known as vomitoxin, DON is a mycotoxin found in maize and wheat.
“Due to the nature of toxins and their ability to exist in ‘pockets’ within raw materials, we have amplified the method of the screening of samples to minimise any potential risks.”
Heath said the company would only release products once test results were received on finished products from an external testing site as a final safety check.
“Current research has indicated that the prolonged exposure to high levels of DON in an animal’s diet will only influence the palatability and therefore the intake of food, which can result in low weight gain of the animal. In some instances, animals exposed to food with high levels of DON can experience vomiting.
“We wish to reassure the public of processes that are in place to ensure that the quality of the products that will replace the recalled affected batches on shelves is safe and has undergone all testing before being released.”
Raw materials are tested for toxins, and then samples are sent to external laboratories.
“In this instance, our internal testing has indicated that the raw material used in the affected batches was within specification, but the testing on the finished products, however, were found to be slightly higher than normal levels of DON.
“We deeply regret that this incident occurred, and we are continuing to strive further to improve our product safety procedures to avoid future incidents of this kind.”
Allan Perrins, chief executive of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said if dog food was potentially dangerous it was important to know what happened to the contaminated food.
“We need to know that it doesn’t potentially end up on the black market and potentially back on the streets.”
* The contaminated batch was made between June 4 and June 23, and these dates appear on the packaging. If you are concerned, call Foodcorp’s consumer helpline at 011 411 5400.