The importance of mycotoxin management in dog food
An integrated program of management is the most effective way to ensure safety all along the petfood chain.
In 2012, the US corn harvest presented challenges for the country's farmers. In spite of testing every load coming in and rejecting many of them, some of the end products were tainted with aflatoxin, a naturally occurring poison that can cause serious illness or even death if consumed. Aflatoxin is the by-product of a mold that flourishes in dry conditions, and 2012's historic drought in the Midwest region put members of the agriculture industry on high alert.
Corn is a common ingredient for a range of petfoods and is a key feed grain for dairy and beef cattle, hogs and chickens, as well as a range of products for human consumption. While the potential for recalls due to contaminated product is not new, it reminds members of the petfood industry of the need for an integrated mycotoxin management plan to keep mycotoxins at bay.
In February, high levels of a potentially dangerous toxin were found in bags of dog food shelved at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Iowa. According to officials, the corn used had been tested before it was blended into the petfood, and Pro-Pet officials said they tested finished products, as well. But the contamination was not discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Subsequently, the Hy-Vee…