Following at least 28 pet deaths and several illnesses, several lots of Sportmix dog and cat food products are being recalled nationwide, due to a risk they may contain lethal levels of mold.
The FDA announced the Sportmix pet food recall on December 30, after determining certain lots of the dry pet food may contain higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxins, which are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens produced by certain molds. At least 28 dog deaths and eight dog injuries were linked to the recalled pet food.
Following the reported illnesses and fatalities, the Missouri Department of Agriculture performed a series of random sample testing, which discovered very high levels of aflatoxin in certain lots of Sportmix pet food.
Aflatoxin is 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.
The FDA issued a safety alert on December 30 in conjunction with the recall, warning consumers with affected lots of Sportmix to immediately quarantine the product and keep it away from pets and children, and to always thoroughly wash their hands after handling the products.
The recall includes Sportmix Energy Plus 50-pound bags with lot numbers 03/02/22/05/L2, 03/02/22/05/L3, 03/03/22/05/L2, Sportmix Energy Plus 44-pound bag with lot numbers 03/02/22/05/L3, Sportmix Premium High Energy 50-pound bags with lot numbers 03/03/22/05/L3, Sportmix Premium High Energy 44-pound bags with lot numbers 03/03/22/05/L3, Sportmix Original Cat 31-pound bags with lot numbers 03/03/22/05/L3, and Sportmix Original Cat 15-pound bags with lot numbers 03/03/22/05/L2 and 03/03/22/05/L3.
The recalled pet food products were manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods Inc., of Evansville, Indiana. They were distributed nationally to online distributors and retail stores.
The recall urges customers to stop feeding their pets the recalled products immediately and contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at 800-474-4163 for additional information.
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.