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Urgent notice regarding food poisoning


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If you are feeding any one of these three foods, pull them.   Word is going around about two sanctuaries that have had small mass die-offs and two of these foods are common among both.  The third, Lefebers is being tested, I would pull it too.   Also pass the word along in any channels you participate in.   The original posting is lengthy so I'm including the foods here in case no time to read the post.

Zupreem Fruitblend, large size for macaws, cockatoos etc.
Higgins Vitaseed
Lefeber's Nutriberries


Original posting from "Birds And Beaks Rescue and Rehab":


This will likely be the most heartbreaking post I ever write.

On the evening of January 1, 2018, we lost 11 birds. Most of the birds passed within about 30 minutes of each other, with the last one, a nanday conure not passing until around 4am.

We originally thought maybe carbon monoxide or something in the air, and began evacuation to the garage and called 911. The fire department tested both for carbon monoxide and noxious gases and our results were zero's across the board.

The next logical thought was food/water. We pulled all the food and water and put them on the counter.

The next morning, we took those birds to our veterinarian and had necropsies done for them. The initial things our doctor found were hearts were good, lungs were good, all seem to be in good health, except their stomachs were inflamed, there was a green sludge in their GI tracts and their livers were rock hard.

Gross necropsies were submitted by our vet for 2 birds to determine official cause of death with food toxicity being the suspicion.

There are another 3 birds that we are unsure if they will make it or not.

Today, January 3, 2018, I took the in-bowl samples of food to Michigan State University.

Before we go further, I want to make it clear I am not pointing fingers. There were 3 foods included in our mix, and thankfully we are fastidious - we have the packages that food came in so that batches can be pulled and we have contacted the companies. The foods are:

Zupreem Fruitblend, large size for macaws, cockatoos etc.
Higgins Vitaseed
Lefeber's Nutriberries

MSU is in receipt of 2lbs of the food that was in the bowls and we should have results back for WHAT the toxin is within 5-7 days.

We spoke with another Michigan Rescue to tell them what's going on, and they also experienced a die off in the last week of 3 birds. The foods they were feeding are Zupreem Fruit Flavored Blend and Higgins Vitaseed.

Our hearts are broken. In a million pieces. We are not ok. We will probably never be ok again.

I am happy to answer questions. What I don't want is mass hysteria. We are awaiting results back from the lab and necropsies - and all we can do is wait. What I'm concerned with is that birds are dying and unlike us - you guys usually have one or two birds. If something happens, you're thinking it's your fault. That you've done something wrong. You don't question the food because you trust it.

You need to have necropsies done. You need to save your food, your bags, and you need to get it tested.

We don't know which food it was at this point, and we're not pointing fingers. What I can tell you is that the companies are being very cooperative, helpful and working WITH us.

My personal opinion is that for now, if you are feeding any of those brands, please stop and feed fresh/frozen foods only until we have the results back for why this happened.

Please keep us in your thoughts. Our hearts are broken. We lost 11 family members. Watching my children try to give CPR to the birds we all love and care for in vain may be the worst thing I have ever witnessed, only second to walking into my aviary and seeing all but 3 of my birds in there gone.

Cheech (M2, boarder)
Cheech (YN Amazon)

My loves. Rest in Heaven my angels.

My request to you - ask your questions here. Don't flood my inbox. When I have answers, you shall have answers. I'm an open book. I'll answer anything here in this thread. We are a by-the-book rescue. We don't cut corners. So ask away.

If you're negative - I just don't have any energy for you. I really don't. Be supportive or be gone.

Information about the food batches:
Zupreem, Large for macaws/cockatoos etc:
10287 865309107 Use By: 3/31/19
Zupreem, Large for macaws/cockatoos etc:
09137 862908047 Use by: 2/28/19
Higgin's Vita Seed Use By: 4/5/19
Lefeber's Tropical Fruit Nutriberries: Use By Batch: 122218B


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  • 1 month later...

Turns out the three implicated foods were all tested to be safe and untainted so I suspect maybe something in the home was at fault. Ingesting bad foods does not kill so quickly it takes hours or weeks in some cases not minutes it is still a very tragic loss remaining unexplained. Hope they did a necropsy.

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