UPDATE (12/7/11): Iams has decided to issue a recall related to aflatoxin levels. Get the full details here on the Iams and Cargill dog food recalls.
This weekend, there’s been a flurry of rumors about an Iams dog food recall. Because I want to let you know of any threats to your dog’s health, I take these rumors very seriously.
Normally, when a food is recalled, the FDA issues a warning, like the recent warning about chicken jerky dog treats. I couldn’t find any such notice about Iams this weekend. Further, Iams did not list any information about a recall on their site. In my experience, Iams is good about providing that information to consumers. Finally, the site that initially reported the recall (not a dog-related site) has now removed all mention of Iams from their food recall list.
I called Iams to find out what was really going on. The good news is, there’s no recall on Iams dog food at this time. The bad news is, the notice wasn't without cause.
Originally, reports stated the food was being recalled for elevated levels of aflatoxin, a toxin that contaminates grains. Symptoms of aflatoxin illness include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. According to Iams, a small number of bags did have elevated aflatoxin levels, but nothing so high as to be a significant cause for concern. They have not had any reports of illness and instructed the few stores who had the affected bags to pull them off the shelves. The representative I spoke with could not tell me where these stores were, only that it was not a nationwide issue. They opted to pull the products to maintain high quality, according to the representative, and did not issue a warning because there was not a significant concern.
Neither Iams nor the FDA has issued any kind of warning. According to my sources at the food company, Iams works very closely with the FDA on any health concerns. It seems to me that if this issue warranted pulling the product from the shelves, there should have been a public notice. At the very least, it's positive that they are pulling the products as soon as they learned the product tested "outside of our specifications," as the representative told me. Still, I would think that if it was significant enough to pull products off the shelves, it would be significant enough to notify anyone who had already purchased the products. I don't understand how it's safe to feed but at the same time is being taken off the shelves.
If you have any questions or concerns about the story, I encourage you to call Iams directly for answers. They can be reached at 1-800-675-3849. Please let other pet owners know that there is no Iams recall at this time but they may want to keep an eye on their dog.
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