August 27, 2021 11.52 am This story is over 27 months old

Boston pet food firm to resume production of recalled brands after investigation

‘No link’ between pet food and cat deaths

A pet food company near Boston will resume production of three recalled brands after ‘no links’ were found between its cat products and a nationwide outbreak of feline pancytopenia.

Fold Hill Foods in Old Leake said earlier this month it was fully cooperating with both the Food Standards Agency and the Royal Veterinary College, over an investigation into possible links between cat deaths and pet food manufactured in Lincolnshire.

This comes after The Royal Veterinary College said on Monday, August 23 it was aware of 563 cases treated at its own hospitals and information provided by some vets in the UK. Of these, there was a 62.5% mortality rate, at the time of reporting on Monday.

However, the RVC added that this data probably represents only a percentage of cases as many cats may not be presented to a veterinary practice and/or investigated by a vet.

Fold Hill Foods Ltd published a statement on August 26, which read: “Following extensive testing and independent expert analysis, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has not identified a causative link between pancytopenia and the cat food products recalled on a precautionary basis by Fold Hill Foods.

“We understand the investigation will continue to investigate other potential causes of the pancytopenia cases, including non-feed related causes, with a multi-agency approach. As no causative link has been identified, Fold Hill Foods is working with its local authority to resume production of the three recalled brands.

“As cat owners ourselves, we fully understand how upsetting and stressful this ongoing situation is and that an urgent need remains to establish why there has been an increase in cases of Pancytopenia in the UK.”

The Food Standards Agency issued a statement on the same day saying it has been working closely with Fold Hill Foods over the course of the investigation into the recalled cat food, and that the company has co-operated fully.

It added that to date, testing has not been able to definitively determine a cause, so it has not ruled out cat food or any other possible causes either.

The FSA said: “The results of extensive testing identified higher levels of mycotoxins in some samples of the recalled cat food… these products are no longer on sale.

“Mycotoxins are found in some types of feed and food and do not, in themselves, indicate they are the cause of feline pancytopenia. No causative link between pancytopenia and the recalled cat food products has been established.

“As a result of these findings, Fold Hill Foods is working with its local authority to take steps to resume production.”

The FSA added that a multi-agency approach will continue to try and identify the causes of pancytopenia – see more information here.

Some cat owners previously spoke with BBC Look North about the issue and urged people to be cautious and to check product recall notices.