Fold Hill Foods Ltd: Recall FAQs

*Latest update* :

We recognise and appreciate the distress this is causing to many people and are working with the FSA, Pet Food Manufacturers Association and veterinary authorities to assist them in identifying the source of the feline Pancytopenia cases. The PFMA have released some helpful information covering all the facts which you can find here: https://www.pfma.org.uk/news/information-for-pet-owners-concerned-about-pancytopenia To find the cause investigators have focused on the reported cases looking for commonalities between them, this has led them to scrutinise a potential link to the three brands recalled https://www.foldhill.co.uk/recall/. There is currently no established link between these deaths and food we produce and vet teams are working hard to establish the source.  There have been no other safety concerns raised with other pet foods at this time. Investigations are ongoing and numerous tests are being done by independent laboratories on food samples and ingredients to try to identify the problem. Until the results come back we cannot add any further information and will let you know as soon as we have more details.

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. Please refer to Wilko as to why they have made this decision as we cannot answer this. If you would like more information, please visit: https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/product-recalls

What has happened?

Following recent reports from the Food and Veterinary authorities of serious health related issues in cats (feline pancytopenia), that may or may not be related to diet, Fold Hill Foods Ltd has issued a voluntary and precautionary recall of selected cat food products which it manufactures for partner brands. The investigation by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is still on-going and we continue to offer assistance to the Food & Veterinary Authorities to identify what the issue is; the exact cause has not yet been confirmed; and it might not be food related at all.

This health issue has been identified by the Food & Veterinary Authorities to only affect cats and does not affect any other pets.   

What brands have been recalled as a precaution?

Currently the cause of the recent spikes in cat deaths is unknown but as a precautionary measure selected brands that we manufacture are being recalled. No other Fold Hill Food products are known to be affected.

Click here to view all products being re-called (AVA, Applaws and Sainsbury’s).

What is Feline pancytopenia?

Pancytopenia is a very rare condition wherein the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decreases, causing serious illness.

Symptoms can include fever, pale gums, blood in the urine and faeces and bleeding from the nose.  

How many cats have become ill in recent months? And what percentage of these have died? 

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is monitoring the situation. Please contact the RVC for more information (https://www.rvc.ac.uk/)

What do I need to do if I am worried about my cat and/or they are showing symptoms?

If cat owners are concerned about the health of their cat they should seek immediate advice from their local vet.

What do I do if I have the above products / and or my cat has eaten them?

If you have purchased any of the above products you should stop feeding them to your cat as a precautionary measure while the cause of this medical investigation is being investigated, and seek advice from your vet immediately.

Please contact the relevant customer service teams detailed below:

If you have purchased an AVA product contact www.petsathome.com and fill out the contact form on the help page or live chat.

If you have purchased an Applaws product contact www.applaws.com/uk/contact-us.

If you have purchased a Sainsbury’s product contact www.sainsburys.co.uk/help

or call the Sainsbury’s Customer Careline on 0800 636262

If cat owners are concerned about the health of their cat then they should seek immediate advice from their vet.

Regardless of where you have purchased from (pet shop, retailer directly, or online e.g. Amazon, Zooplus), contact the retailer directly for a refund. Alternatively, contact the brands above for guidance.

Re-call

When was Fold Hill Foods made aware of the issue?

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has been monitoring the situation and reached out to the veterinary community in late May. Fold Hill Foods has only recently been notified of the situation, reacting with a voluntary recall of products on the 15th June 2021 as a precautionary measure.

The investigations by the RVC are still on-going and the exact cause is still not confirmed, with no proven link currently between the food and the medical concerns.

How did the situation arise to do the re-call? 

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) was alerted to a spike in cats presenting with the symptoms of pancytopenia.  At present, the cause is unknown, however as a precaution certain dry cat foods have been recalled while the investigation continues.

Although diet has not been confirmed as the cause, as one of the leading pet food manufacturers in the UK, ensuring your pet’s safety is our priority and therefore we chose to recall the ranges of cat food that we manufacture for the brands who have been identified. We felt this is the safest course of action until an exact cause of the issue is found.

Fold Hill Foods manufactures three brands that have been recalled – AVA (Pets at Home), Applaws and a Sainsbury’s hypoallergenic product.  

Is there a contamination issue at Fold Hill Foods?

There is no evidence of contamination at Fold Hill Foods at this time.

The investigation is being conducted by the RVC and so far these results are inconclusive – the cause has not been confirmed. The RVC are continuing their investigations, working with cat owners and vets, as well as the relevant food authorities. We continue to offer assistance to the Food & Veterinary Authorities to identify what the issue is.

Who is conducting the investigation?

The investigation is being conducted by the RVC together with other relevant food authorities. We continue to offer assistance to the Food & Veterinary Authorities to identify what the issue is.

How can consumers identify the affected product?

Please click here for a table detailing all products made by Fold Hill Foods Ltd which are being recalled as a precautionary measure.

Will customers be reimbursed?

Yes, refunds will be issued by the retailers directly from where you have purchased the products.

If you have bought an AVA product contact www.petsathome.com and fill out the contact form on the help page or livechat.

If you have bought an Applaws product contact www.applaws.com/uk/contact-us.

If you have purchased a Sainsbury’s product contact www.sainsburys.co.uk/help

or call the Sainsbury’s Customer Careline on 0800 636262

If cat owners are concerned about the health of their cat then they should seek immediate advice from their vet.

When will Fold Hill Foods be able to confirm the issue and if the factory is responsible?

The investigation by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is still on-going and we continue to offer assistance to the Food & Veterinary Authorities to identify what the issue is; the exact cause has not yet been confirmed.

The RVC will publish the results when available. There is no timeline for this currently and we await further news from them.

What is a batch code? Where do you find this?

A batch code is a 4 digit number found after the Best Before Date. You do not need to worry about this number as AVA and Sainsbury’s are asking for all batch codes to be recalled. Applaws have advised it is not relevant as they are asking for all bags of all best before dates with the site code GB218E5009 to be recalled. Please see here for full details.

What is the site code and where is it found?

The site code for Fold Hill Foods is GB218E5009 which will be found on all of the bags being recalled.

The site code is normally found on the back of the bag, near to the barcode. On some bags it may be on the side of the bag, depending on how the bag has been printed.

Please note that only Applaws are asking for this to be checked as they also have this product made by another manufacturer and there is no link at this time to that site code.

If you have have any concerns about finding this code, please contact Applaws directly.

Are all products off the shelves and website? What is still on sale?

AVA (Pets At Home), Sainsbury’s and Applaws have a legal responsibility to remove all products from shelves and websites – for all of their retailers regardless of physical shop or online.

Whose responsibility is it for the products to not be sold – Fold Hill or the brands selling products?

It is the responsibility of the brands to remove items: AVA (Pets At Home), Sainsbury’s and Applaws have a responsibility to remove all products from shelves and websites – for all of their retailers and sellers.

If my vet has taken a blood sample, what will happen next?

Your vet will send these off to the appropriate authorities including the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) if necessary, who are co-ordinating this investigation.

Can you tell us what other brands of cat food you make?

The three brands identified for the voluntary recall are Applaws, Sainsbury’s, and AVA. While we as cat owners know how distressing this is for everyone involved, we believe listing brands that have in no way been identified with potential issues would cause increased panic amongst the general public. Fold Hill has no issues with any other brands that we manufacture for.


Fold Hill General 

What bodies is Fold Hill Foods working with to identify the problem? 

We are working with the Food Standards Agency and the Royal Veterinary College, as well as the brands themselves: AVA (Pets At Home), Sainsbury’s and Applaws.

Where does Fold Hill Foods source its ingredients from? 

Our ingredients are sourced from approved suppliers only. Fold Hill Foods is a leading pet food manufacturer, and we adhere to the FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry) standards and legislation.

What foods (wet or dry) are made at Fold Hill Foods? 

Fold Hill makes only dry pet food.

Is there any connection to the dog foods that Fold Hill Foods produce?

No. These investigations are only relating to cats and the recall of cat food is only precautionary. The RVC at this moment in time is only focussing on cat food.

Contacting Fold Hill Foods

In the first instance you need to contact the brands as detailed above for questions relating to refunds and products being recalled: Pets At Home, Applaws and Sainsbury’s.

If you have purchased an AVA product contact www.petsathome.com and fill out the contact form on the help page or livechat.

If you have purchased an Applaws product contact www.applaws.com/uk/contact-us.

If you have purchased a Sainsbury’s product contact www.sainsburys.co.uk/help

or call the Sainsbury’s Customer Careline on 0800 636262

If cat owners are concerned about the health of their cat then they should seek immediate advice from their vet.

If you have any questions about the investigation, please contact the RVC for more information (https://www.rvc.ac.uk/)

If you would like to contact Fold Hill please email recall@foldhill.co.uk only. We will endeavour to respond within 3 working days. Please note that we cannot answer any health-related issues as we are not trained veterinarians and therefore emails of this nature will not be answered. In addition, we cannot answer any questions around refunds / products on shelves or timings of the conclusion of the RVC’s investigation. If you would like information about the investigation, please contact the RVC directly.

Our working hours are 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Emails and telephone will not be manned outside of these hours.

If you have a medical emergency with your cat, please call your local vet.

PFMA Information

The PFMA have put together some additional information for pet owners concerned about Pancytopenia. Please visit their website for further details: pfma.org.uk

Last updated: 18/06/2021