The company announced the voluntary recall of several feed products on Monday [May 6].
The Minnesota-based company’s animal nutrition business is collecting a selection of Southern States feed products because of high aflatoxin levels, Cargill said.
Products included in the recall covered several species and were generated and sold in the eastern United States, Cargill said. The items collected were manufactured in the company’s facility in Cleveland, North Carolina.
The increased aflatoxin levels, which were above the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) action levels have since been linked to a corn supplier, Cargill told us. The company’s internal testing protocol has been changed to address the situation.
“No adverse health effects to animals have been reported to date,” Cargill said. “Nonetheless, Cargill is taking this voluntary step out of an abundance of caution.”
Poultry, horses and livestock exposed to levels of aflatoxin could be at risk of several health hazards, the company said. Aflatoxin toxicity in livestock has been linked to a reduction in feed intake, liver damage, reduced weight gain, jaundice and death.
The amount of aflatoxin that can be present in a product varies based on the age and type of animal, said the FDA. It ranges from 20 parts per billion for dairy cows, immature animals and companion animals to 300ppb for finishing cattle.
Recall overview and aflatoxin concerns
Cargill first heard about the issue when it was contacted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA) regarding test results that demonstrated a single lot of a specific product in the Southern States product line had high levels of aflatoxin.
Products were initially removed from shelves in February, March and April, the company said. No additional products have been added to the recall list.
Products were recalled from distributors and retail outlets in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia, the company said.
For poultry, the products recalled included a specific lot of Southern States traditions 2-grain scratch, Southern States flock balancer 20% booster, Southern States sporting bird flight developer, Southern States custom formula, Southern States Traditions chick start and grow, Southern States all grain start-n-grow along with Southern States coarse screened cracked corn, the company reported.
For dairy and beef cattle, recalled products included specific lots of Southern States calf developer plus, Southern States genetic expression 14% jump start, Southern States custom formula, Southern States coarse screened cracked corn and Southern States Intensity 22% calf starter, the company said.
Products for other livestock species included select lots of Southern States sheep feed pellets and Southern States 16% sweet goat feed and Southern States triple.
“We worked closely with the NCDA and removed product from shelves prior to this press release,” the company told us. “Customers were also contacted, asking them to dispose of any inventory.”
“Once completed, we requested they fill out the certificate of destruction form and return to their customer service representative so they can be issued a credit,” the company added.