Issuing a recall in December, the maker of Diamond Dog Food noticed that it was receiving contaminated corn a month before it got into the food, a company official stated. While employees had been warned to test closely for the naturally-occurring aflatoxin, it is assumed that a pocket had been missed in one of the shipments, claims Mark Brinkmann, Diamond Pet Foods’ chief operating officer.
The mistake resulted in the deaths of dozens of dogs.
The company typically rejects 1-2 truckloads of corn, per year, due to aflatoxin exceeding federal limits. In September, 2005 however, they discovered the fungus on one or two truckloads each week, rejecting the loads.
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by mold, that can damage the liver. This has been discovered as a possible lead into liver cancer and, additionally, may be causing multiple forms of cancers in other animals. The fungi, which produces this toxin, are known to grow on crops such as peanuts (very frequent), wheat, corn, beans and rice. Aflatoxin is a problem throughout the world, although the problem is larger in underdeveloped countries.
Aflatoxins can invade and contaminate the food supply at any time; whether it?s through production, processing, transport or storage. There are many different factors that put you at risk of aflatoxin poisoning: hot and humid climate, moisture where the food is kept, factors which decrease a plant?s immunity, etc. A good factor to remember, when dealing with similar foods to remember, ?When in doubt?Throw it out!?