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Mycotoxins Poison Pet Food: Test for Toxins and Protect the Pets.

One of the largest US recalls of pet food was carried out in January, but not before nearly 100 dogs consumed fatal levels of Aflatoxins and got ill or died.

“This is an avoidable tragedy,” said Jennifer Rowe, Microbiology Manager at Columbia Laboratories. “Testing for toxins early in the supply chain protects the consumer and business from tragic recalls.”

Aflatoxins are a deadly bi-product of naturally occurring mold- specifically Aspergillus. Even when the mold is gone, the mycotoxins live on, surviving through various types of processing and can end up in consumable products.

Columbia Laboratories offers Aspergillus and Mycotoxin testing in house for several product categories.

“These toxins are pervasive in every industry that sources processed botanicals,” Rowe said. “They are especially relevant to the Pet Food Industry.”

To catch these toxins, Rowe recommends prescreening botanical ingredients for Aspergillus/ Yeast and Molds; then testing for mycotoxins after a round of processing the botanicals, before infusing into products.

The pet food industry can and should learn from this recall and include mold and mycotoxin testing in their raw materials vetting process.

Mycotoxins and Aflatoxin Testing available at Columbia Laboratories:


 Mycotoxins by   LCMS MS  Notes  Analytes  Matrices
Naturally  Occurring

Pervasive to kill  steps

Deadly upon  ingestion

Bi-Product of  Aspergillus




Pet Food

Cannabis Flower


by PCR

Black Mold

Naturally  Occurring

Presence/  Absence




A.niger  (brasiliensis)


Pet Food and

Cannabis Flower

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