Popular dog food brands recalled over high levels of risky toxin

The FDA recently brought attention to a voluntary dog food recall that involves multiple popular brands, all of which have been recalled after random testing revealed unacceptably high levels of a risk toxin. Though consuming a small amount of this toxin — called aflatoxin — isn't likely to harm a pet, there are regulations in place that limit how much of this toxin can be present in dog food.

The presence of aflatoxin isn't a problem itself — this is the natural byproduct of the mold that may grow on pet food called Aspergillus flavus. This toxin is found on a variety of crops like tree nuts, peanuts, corn, and cottonseed, as well, making it difficult to avoid.

According to the World Health Organization, consuming enough of this toxin to cause aflatoxicosis may put one's life at risk, mostly in the form of liver damage. For this reason, there are regulations limiting how much of this toxin can be present in food, and that includes pet food.

This new recall covers certain dog food products sold under the brand Paws Happy Life, Heartland Farms, and Family Pet. The products range in size from 4lbs to 28lbs and include lot dates ranging from April 3, 2020, to April 5, 2020. Though we're quite a few weeks past these dates, it is possible that consumers may still come across some of these recalled products at stores or may have them in long-term storage.

According to the recall notice, anyone who has these recalled products should either throw them away or return them to the store from which they were purchased for a full refund. Retailers have already been alerted to the recall and advised to stop selling these particular dog food products.