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Further update from the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland following the rise in cases of feline pancytopenia

An update on the investigation into the recalled cat food following a rise in cases of feline pancytopenia and responses to common consumer queries.

Last updated: 26 August 2021
Last updated: 26 August 2021

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.

Next steps in the investigation

A multi-agency approach will continue to try and identify the causes of the pancytopenia. As new information emerges, we will review our approach on managing any identified risks in animal feed and inform industry so that they can take any action required as a result of our findings.

Details of the original product recall notice were published on 17 June.

Frequently asked questions

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.  

Was the pancytopenia outbreak not caused by cat food?  

To date testing has not been able to definitively determine a cause, we have not ruled out cat food or any other possible causes either.   

Is it safe for anyone who still has the recalled cat food to feed it to their cats?  

Cat owners should not feed any recalled cat food to their cats and should continue to follow the advice in our recall notice. 

What other possible causes are being investigated?  

We continue to work with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to identify the possible cause of the pancytopenia. At this stage we are not ruling out any possible cause.  

Why is the company being allowed to restart production if it is not known for sure that its cat food is safe?  

To date a causative link between the feline pancytopenia and the recalled cat food has not been established, and so the company is working with its local authority, Lincolnshire County Council, to resume production.

Some social media posts have shown the results of mycotoxin tests, suggesting food is unsafe for cats. Why has action not been taken?  

We are aware of some social media posts, in which test results have been misinterpreted as showing a danger to cats. 

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.  

If mycotoxins are widely found in animal feed, should people be concerned about other brands of cat food?  

No. There is no evidence linking any other products to feline pancytopenia.