Cargill pulled a variety of animal feeds with excessive levels of aflatoxins from retail shelves from February through April, but the company did not announce the action until this week.

Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that commonly contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest, storage or processing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to aflatoxin is known to cause both chronic and acute liver damage in humans. People working with or eating contaminated feeds or foods are at risk of illness.

In its announcement posted with the Food and Drug Administration this week, Cargill did not reveal the volume of a dozen types of feed products subject to the recall. For two other feed products, Cargill reported single buyers had purchased two tons of poultry feed and 23 tons of dairy cattle feed, respectively.

To view labels from all of the implicated products, please click on the image.

All 14 of the recalled products were sold under the Southern States brand. 

“The affected products, which were manufactured and sold in the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Livestock, horses, and poultry exposed to aflatoxin are at risk of exposure to several health hazards,” according to the recall notice posted by the FDA.

“Aflatoxicosis has the same acute and chronic adverse effects and health consequences across all species and age classes — immature and mature. Immature animals are more sensitive to aflatoxins. Acute aflatoxicosis may result in generalized hemorrhage, bloody diarrhea and death in 1-3 days.  In addition, aflatoxin toxicity can cause reduced feed intake, reduced weight gain, liver damage, jaundice, and eventually death.”

As of the posting of the recall notice, Cargill reported it had not received any information about adverse effects related to the feeds. Workers on large-scale farming operations, owners of backyard poultry flocks, people with recreational horses are among those who could be exposed to the fungal toxin in the feed.

Except for the two bulk purchases of poultry and dairy cow feeds, all of the recalled Cargill Southern States feeds were b=packaged in 50-pound bags.

The implicated feeds were manufactured at Cargill’s Cleveland, North Carolina, facility. 

Inspectors from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture discovered the problem when product testing results showed the excessive aflatoxin levels. The recall notice does not indicate when the tests were conducted or specifically when Cargill was informed of the results. 

“Cargill has identified and corrected the root cause,” according to the company’s notice.

The implicated products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Consumers and other end users who have any of the affected lots in their possession are urged to return remaining product to their local dealers or retailers for a replacement or full refund. Consumers can call 800-822-1012 for additional information.

The specific products subject to the recall are as follows.

Product Size Lot Code Product Code Species Date Made Shelf Life
Southern States Traditions 2-Grain Scratch (CN) 50 lb N8313 523540 Poultry Nov 2018 90 days
Southern States Flock Balancer 20% Booster (CN) 50 lb N8352 525430 Poultry Dec 2018 90 days
Southern States Calf Developer Plus (DEC) (CN) 50 lb N8354 511810 Dairy Cattle Dec 2018 60 days
Southern States Sheep Feed Pellets (CN) 50 lb N9035 572610 Sheep Feb 2019 90 days
Southern States Sporting Bird Flight Developer (BMD) (CN) 50 lb N9035 523630 Poultry Feb 2019 90 days
Southern States Genetic Expression 14% Jump Start (BVT) (CN) 50 lb N9035 573760 Beef Cattle Feb 2019 90 days
Southern States Custom Formula 2 tons (all purchased by a single customer) N9037 Poultry Feb 2019 30 days
Southern States Traditions Chick Start & Grow (AMP) (CN) 50 lb N9039 523600 Poultry Feb 2019 90 days
Southern States Custom Formula 23 tons (all purchased by a single customer) N9039 Dairy Cattle Feb 2019 30 days
Southern States 16% Sweet Goat Feed (CN) 50 lb N9043 571800 Goat Feb 2019 60 days
Southern States Triple 10 (CN) 50 lb N9043 554270 Equine Feb 2019 60 days
Southern States Coarse Screened Cracked Corn (CN) 50 lb N9045 591180 All Stock Feb 2019 90 days
Southern States Intensity 22% Calf Starter (BVT/CF) (CN) 50 lb N9045 511961 Dairy Cattle Feb 2019 60 days
Southern States All Grain Start-N-Grow (CN) 25 lb N9053 523500 Poultry Feb 2019 90 days

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