The Food Standards Agency has revealed it hasn’t found a causative link between recalled cat food and an outbreak of feline pancytopenia, which has killed more than 350 pets.
Along with the Royal Veterinary College, the FSA has been investigating the deadly disease since June when reports of cat deaths were first discovered.
Investigations led to the recall of three brands of hypoallergenic dry cat food produced by Fold Hill Foods, which were thought to be contaminated with mycotoxins. The foods – Applaws dry cat food, Pets at Home AVA and Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic dry cat food – were recalled by the company while investigations were carried out.
The FSA has now issued an update on its investigations. It said: “The Food Standards Agency has been working closely with Fold Hill Foods over the course of the investigation into the recalled cat food. The company has co-operated fully.
“The results of extensive testing identified higher levels of mycotoxins in some samples of the recalled cat food. This includes specific compounds known as T2 and HT2. 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.”
A multi-agency approach will continue to try and identify the causes of the pancytopenia. As new information emerges, the FSA will review its approach on managing any identified risks in animal feed and inform industry so that they can take any action required as a result of its findings.
The FSA added: “We “¯understand how upsetting “¯the “¯past two “¯months have been for cat “¯owners and “¯know “¯how important “¯it is that the cause of “¯the recent feline pancytopenia cases is established. “¯
“Our tests and analysis to date have not “¯found “¯a causative link to the pancytopenia cases, but our investigation is ongoing and we will provide an update once we have more information.”
Responding to social media posts suggesting that food containing mycotoxins was unsafe for cats, the FSA said: “The mere presence of mycotoxins in cat food does not necessarily pose a risk to cats. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring substances produced by certain types of moulds (fungi) which can grow on a variety of different crops and feedstuffs.”