Following at least 70 dog deaths and dozens of illnesses among pets nationwide, a pet food recall has been expanded due to the risk additional products may contain dangerous levels of aflatoxins, which are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens produced by certain molds.
The FDA announced a Midwestern pet food recall expansion on January 11, after determining additional brand name products used potentially contaminated grain and corn ingredients from the same supplier that caused the initial recall in December.
The Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. pet food recall was first announced on December 30, following at least 28 reported dog deaths and eight dog injuries linked to certain Sportmix brand pet food. The Missouri Department of Agriculture subsequently performed a series of random sample testing, which discovered very high levels of aflatoxin in certain lots of the Sportmix pet food.
Aflatoxins are a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on grains, corn and other natural ingredients used in pet foods. If animals are overexposed to aflatoxins they may experience symptoms including sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and may suffer long-term liver issues which could result in death.
Since the initial recall, Midwestern now indicates that it has received reports of more than 150 cases of dog food poisoning, including 70 deaths and at least 80 illnesses among pets that consumed foods produced at the Chickasha Operations Facility.
The FDA’s announcement indicates Midwestern is expanding the recall to include all Sportmix brands, as well as Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, Pro Pac Performance Puppy, Splash Fat Cat 32%, and Nunn Better Maintenance brands with expiration date of July 9, 2022, depicted as “07/09/22” on the packaging.
The recalled pet food products were manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods Inc., of Evansville, Indiana and were distributed nationally to online distributors and retail stores.
Retailers and distributors are being instructed to pull recalled lots from their inventory and shelves, and to not sell or donate any remaining recalled products.
Customers with recalled products should immediately quarantine the product and keep it away from pets and children, and to always thoroughly wash their hands after handling the products. For additional questions or instructions on what to do with remaining pet food products, customers may contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at 800-474-4163.
Officials are encouraging pet owners to destroy the products in a way that pets and wildlife cannot access them and to sanitize all pet food bowls, cups, and storage containers the recalled products may have contacted.
Those who have fed the recalled products to their pets are being encouraged to watch for symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning and to contact their veterinarian immediately. Veterinarians and pet owners are being instructed to report all related cases through the FDA’s Safety Reporting Portal.