Chicken feed in some farms in Indiana contained byproducts from pet food manufactured with contaminated wheat gluten imported from China, two federal agencies said Monday.
The Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement that officials learned of the link between the chicken feed and tainted pet food as part of the investigation into imported rice protein concentrate and wheat gluten that have been found to contain the industrial chemical melamine and related compounds.
An estimated 30 broiler poultry farms and eight breeder poultry farms in Indiana received contaminated feed in early February and fed it to poultry within days of receiving it, the agencies said. Other farms will probably be identified as having received contaminated feed, they added.
All the broilers believed to have been fed contaminated products have been processed, while the breeders are under voluntary hold by flock owners, the agencies said.
The FDA and USDA said the likelihood of human illness from eating chicken fed the contaminated product is very low. With no evidence of harm to humans, no recall of poultry products processed from these animals was being issued, the agencies said.
On Saturday, the FDA and USDA cited similar reasons for not issuing a recall after determining that hogs in some states may have been fed the tainted pet food.
More than 100 brands of pet food have been recalled since March 16 because they were contaminated with melamine. An unknown number of dogs and cats have been sickened or died after eating chemical-laced pet food.
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