Diamond Pet Foods has narrowed down the list of its products affected by aflatoxin contamination, which has been believed to have killed dozens of dogs despite a broad recall.
According to the company, independent laboratories tested more than 2,700 product samples to confirm that only Diamond Maintenance Dog and Diamond Premium Adult Dog with "Best By" dates of April 3, 4, 5, and 11, 2007, are potentially toxic.
The products also have a "G" in reference to the company's facility in Gaston, S.C., in the 11th or 12th position of the date code on 18- to 55-pound bags. The "G" is in the ninth position on 4- to 8-pound bags.
However, the company has asked consumers to continue to return to retailers all products from the original recall (see JAVMA, Feb. 1, 2006, page 334).
Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the growth of the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A parasiticus on corn and other crops. Signs of aflatoxicosis include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, fever, and severe or bloody diarrhea. Aflatoxicosis can lead to severe liver damage.
On Dec. 21, Diamond Pet Foods initiated the recall of all products from its Gaston facility that contain corn. The facility distributes products to 23 states in the eastern United States.
On Dec. 30, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement that the agency was investigating the situation. The agency also discovered that the company exported the products to at least 29 countries.
As of Jan. 5, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine had received unconfirmed reports of 76 dogs dying and 23 more becoming ill.