Horse owners are being warned not to use alfalfa cubes with date codes 111222, 11322, 11422, 11522, and 11622. This product was recalled on December 16.
The cubes are sold in a white and tan plastic bag with a green label that holds 50 lbs. The product has been sold in New Mexico. Therefore, New Mexico horse owners should check their feed.
Other states affected by this recall include Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The FDA said they’re aware that 98 horses from Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas have shown neurologic symptoms. Authorities said at least 45 of those horses died or were euthanized due to their declining health.
The symptoms of the illnesses are associated with botulism. However, more testing is being done to determine if this is what’s affecting the horses.
While it’s not known what exactly happened, the FDA explained that the cubes may contain fur and animal tissues that merged into the product during harvesting. The FDA said some people reported a foul odor coming from the product, and the bacterium that is linked to botulism is known for being present in animal carcasses.
What to watch for?
The FDA said the reported systems coincide with neurologic illnesses like muscle tremors, difficulty eating or swelling, difficulty standing, weakness, agitation, decreased tongue tone, or collapsing.
If a horse is experiencing these issues and consumed the cubes, the FDA is advising owners to contact their veterinarians.
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What do I do if I have this product?
If you find out you have this recalled food, you are asked by the FDA to put the product in a secure container and throw it away in a covered trash can or dumpster.
It’s also recommended to clean any area the alfalfa cubes were kept. Specific cleaning instructions can be found on the FDA’s website.
Wearing gloves and a face mask is preferred during discarding and cleaning.
If you have this brand of alfalfa cubes and can’t tell the date code on the packaging, officials said to be safe and throw away the product.
The FDA said no human illnesses have been reported, and testing is being conducted to determine what may have contaminated the cubes.