Contaminated Feed Seized in Kentucky

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising horse owners to discard feed purchased at a Florence, Ky., feed store because it could be contaminated. The agency issued the advisory on Monday when U.S. Marshals seized $24,000 in livestock food products from the Bi-County Farm Bureau Cooperative Association Inc.

The FDA inspectors discovered live and dead mice and evidence of bird activity during an inspection of the Bi-County facility in June. Sample analysis later confirmed the presence of rodent urine, rodent feces, and rodent hair in and around food products, as well as holes gnawed in bags by rodents, said FDA Press Officer Siobhan DeLancey, RVT, MPH.

The agency ordered the seizure after finding that Bi-County failed to comply with FDA feed storage rules requiring routine cleaning and rodent control practices, along with sealing the premises to prevent rodent and bird entry and egress, she said.

"If you got the feed somewhere else, there is no problem."
--FDA Press Officer Siobhan DeLancey
"Inspectors issued a document detailing (feed storage) code violations and how they should be corrected," DeLancey said. "Bi-County had the opportunity to respond verbally and in writing. They chose to only respond verbally and rather inadequately."

The Cooperative Association's attorney Michael McKinney was unavailable for comment.

Bi-County manufacturers feed and stores commercial feed produced in other states. However, the contamination risk is limited to products purchased at the Florence, Ky. store. A full list of products sold by Bi-County.

"The big message is that if you got the feed somewhere else, there is no problem," DeLancey said.

Anyone who purchased feed from Bi-County should discard it, along with feed mixed and stored with potentially contaminated products.

"Also they should not handle the feed," DeLancy said. "If they do, they should wash their hands. Most of what was found washes off with soap and water."

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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