Federal regulators said a Cargill livestock feed plant involved in a sizable aflatoxin-related recall last year violated food-safety regulations.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week posted a “warning letter” to Cargill, saying a feed plant in North Carolina didn’t adhere to requirements for good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and “risk-based preventive controls.”
Cargill said in a statement that it “aggressively implemented” corrective measures after the recall and an ensuing FDA inspection.
“We have since provided a written response to the FDA updating them with the systematic improvements that have been put in place.”
The FDA inspected the plant in June following voluntary recalls in May by Cargill of 24 million pounds of horse, cattle, poultry, goat and sheep feed.
The recalls stemmed from elevated levels of aflatoxin, which is found on moldy crops. If eaten, aflatoxin can be deadly to animals.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture discovered the aflatoxin contamination when testing a specific Cargill product.
Minnetonka-based Cargill traced the problem to moldy corn from a supplier to its plant in Cleveland, N.C.
The FDA, in its warning letter, also said Cargill failed to report the aflatoxin findings within 24 hours to the federal Reportable Food Registry.
Companies should do so “when there is reasonable probability that an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences,” according to the FDA website.
Between Dec. 27, 2018, and April 2, 2019, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture informed Cargill of aflatoxin issues on six occasions, but the company didn’t file any reports with the FDA’s registry until May 15, 2019, the warning letter said.
The recalled feed products, sold under Cargill’s Southern States brand, were distributed in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.