TOPEKA (KSNT) – A recall has been issued after reports of illness and death for horses in ten states, including Kansas.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the recall on Dec. 16 following an announcement from Manzanola Feeds in Colorado. The voluntary recall impacts certain lots of Top of the Rockies Alfalfa Cubes due to the potential contamination of Clostridium botulinum. This organism can cause animals to become severely ill or die after coming into contact with contaminated food or areas that have been exposed to the organism.
The recalled product was distributed in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the FDA. It is possible that the product may have been sent to other areas as well.
The recalled Top of the Rockies Alfalfa Cubs are described by the FDA as being 1 inch cubes packaged in a 50 pound bag that are labeled with the following codes: 111222, 111322, 111422, 111522 and 111622. The code can be found on the front of the bag, towards the top of the bag. The code is usually in the white portion of the bag but can sometimes be found in the brown portion. The code represents the month, day and year the cubes were manufactured.
The FDA says if you possess the recalled alfalfa cubes, or you can’t be sure of the date lot code of the products you have, do not feed them to your horses or any other animals. Throw them away in a secure container and place them in a covered trash can or dumpster so that no other animals can get them. Avoid handling the cubes directly and wear disposable gloves and a face mask while throwing the cubes away and cleaning any bins or containers where they were kept. Some people who have handled the bags report smelling a foul odor.
The FDA says you should clean out all empty bins or containers where the alfalfa cubes were kept by soaking them with a 1:10 dilution of household bleach for 15-20 minutes, followed by soap and water, then leave them to dry. Dispose of gloves and face masks in a secure trash receptacle. Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the containers. If you think your horse has become sick after eating this food, call your veterinarian.
Symptoms for Clostridium botulinum include dizziness, blurred or double vision, trouble with vocalizing or swallowing, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, abdominal distension and constipation, according to the FDA. Animals experiencing these symptoms should receive immediate medical attention.
In total, 45 horses have died due to contact with the recalled alfalfa cubes and 98 have reportedly fallen ill. The reports of illness and death came from the following states: Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. The animals displayed symptoms consistent with botulism
If you have any questions associated with this recall, you can contact the distributor at 719-462-5638 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the recall alert on the FDA’s website by clicking here. For more safety tips from the FDA related to this recall, click here.