Fold Hill Foods is voluntarily recalling a number of its hypoallergenic cat food products, from brands including Applaws, AVA and Sainsbury's, over a possible link to an outbreak of a potentially fatal condition, feline pancytopenia.
9 September 2021 - The Food Standards Agency has confirmed that no causative link between feline pancytopenia and the recalled cat food products has been established. The investigation into what's caused the outbreak of feline pancytopenia is still ongoing.
The FSA update states: 'The results of extensive testing identified higher levels of mycotoxins in some samples of the recalled cat food. These products are no longer on sale. Mycotoxins are found in some types of feed and food and do not indicate they are the cause of feline pancytopenia.
As a result of these findings, Fold Hill Foods is working with its local authority to take steps to resume production.'
5 August 2021 - All the information below is up to date. The investigation into what's caused the spike in cases is still ongoing.
22 June 2021 - Wilko has issued a voluntary recall for several of its cat food products manufactured by Fold Hill Foods due to the same safety concerns. We've added the Wilko products to our full list of products being recalled further down the page.
Wilko products have not been included in the Fold Hill Foods voluntary product recall published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) because the FSA says there is no evidence to suggest that products manufactured on behalf of Wilko are linked to cats who have been affected by feline pancytopenia. Wilko products are also not included in the Royal Veterinary College's ongoing investigation.
18 June 2021 - This article was originally published on 16 June 2021 and at the time stated that only the Applaws products with the Best Before dates of December 2022 to June 2023 were included in the voluntary recall.
However, since first reporting this, Fold Hill Foods has issued an update to include all best before dates for Applaws products listed below, with the site code GB218E5009.
End of updates.
The manufacturer has taken this precautionary measure after the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) reported a sudden increase in cases of severe feline pancytopenia. An investigation into what's caused this spike is ongoing.
Pancytopenia is a very rare condition wherein the number of blood cells rapidly decreases, causing serious illness and can often prove fatal.
Read on for the full list of products being recalled and what to do if you've bought these products or fed them to your pet.
Products from Applaws, AVA (sold at Pets at Home) and Sainsbury's have been affected.
Only those products with the specific best before dates below are being recalled.
No other cat food products have been affected by this recall.
Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retails stores that are selling these products.
If you have bought any of the above products, you should stop feeding them to your cat immediately and return the food to your nearest store for a full refund.
If your cat has already eaten the food and you're concerned about their health, then you should seek immediate advice from your vet. See below for symptoms to look out for.
If you have any concerns or queries, contact the relevant retailer.
Pancytopenia is a serious, but usually very rare condition, where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, leading to serious illness such as anemia, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. Pancytopenia can often prove to be fatal.
Here are some symptoms to look out for:
'We are voluntarily recalling the dry products we manufacture as a precautionary measure. We are also supporting an investigation by the food and veterinary authorities into a possible safety issue affecting cats.'
'We welcome the Food Standards Agency's product recall notice. While we have not definitively established diet as the cause of pancytopenia in these cats, we are continuing to liaise with the pet food industry and regulatory bodies to investigate the matter and identify the possible underlying causes.'
The FSA told us: 'The FSA is aware that Wilko has undertaken a voluntary, precautionary recall of specific products. There is no evidence to suggest that products manufactured on behalf of Wilko are linked to cats who have been affected by feline pancytopenia. This is why Wilko products have not been included in the Food Hill Foods voluntary product recall published by the FSA.
Investigations continue at pace and alerts will be issued if additional products are identified as potentially unsafe.'
Fold Hill Foods told us: 'The decision by Wilko to issue a precautionary recall of their brand was a purely commercial decision made by Wilko and not supported by the FSA.The RVC's investigation is concerning the AVA, Sainsbury's and Applaws brands.'
If you've bought a product that's been recalled, you have the right to a refund with the Consumer Rights Act.
The retailer that sold it should offer you a full refund, even if it's been in your store cupboard or freezer for several months.
If you've already consumed or thrown away the product, you can still get a refund if you're able to show proof of purchase such as a receipt, bank statement or online order confirmation.