The producer of the contaminated pet food which resulted in the deaths of dozens of dogs nationwide, acknowledged Tuesday that workers at its South Carolina plant failed to follow testing procedures to ensure its products were safe.
Diamond Pet Foods made the announcement after the federal Food and Drug Administration released a report which showed the company had no record of test results for 12 shipments of corn, in September and October, when grain tainted with the deadly fungus aflatoxin slipped into the plant.
“The company had stringent guidelines in place to test incoming shipments of corn for aflatoxin exposure,” Diamond Pet Foods said in a statement. “It was apparent by the FDA report that those guidelines were not followed. The company has taken the necessary actions to prevent these oversights from happening in the future.”
Diamond Pet Foods recalled 18 varieties of dog and cat food distributed both across the country and overseas. This came after a New York veterinarian called in December to say she had linked a dog’s death to the company’s food. The contamination has since been narrowed to two varieties of potentially toxic dog food: Diamond Maintenance Dog and Diamond Premium Adult Dog with “Best By” dates of April 3, 4, 5 and 11, 2007.
“The FDA began an investigation after the company recalled about 1 million pounds of dried dog food on Dec. 20,” said federal investigator, Phil Campbell.
According to a statement from the company, it has changed its testing procedure for incoming corn and added a test of the final product, which the company says will add “an extra layer of protection prior to the bagging and shipping of products.”