Consumer Alert: Major Dog Food Recall January 21, 2021
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning all pet lovers about a large-scale recall of contaminated dog and cat food products. So far, the agency is aware of approximately 70 pets that died and 80 others that are ill after the eating various Sportmix pet food products. Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. manufactured the food in the company’s Oklahoma plant, which was contaminated with lethal levels of aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which grows on corn and other grains that are commonly used to manufacture pet food products.
After initial reports of house pets falling ill or dying after eating Sportmix foods, the Missouri Department of Agriculture went to the plant and tested several samples. The results confirmed that some of the pet foods were contaminated with high levels of aflatoxins. Although the FDA was quick to launch a nationwide recall, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., products are still available for sale in some stores and online. Dog and cat owners who have not heard about the recall yet may still be using the contaminated pet food products as well.
Symptoms of Illness in Pets
Most pet owners feed their dog or cat the same food every day, which is one of the main reasons why pets are particularly susceptible to aflatoxin toxicity. When the toxins build up in the pet’s system over time it becomes fatal, sometimes causing irreversible liver damage. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in cats are dogs to keep an eye out for are:
- Sluggishness or lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice, which is a yellow tinting to the eyes, gums or skin and is a product of liver damage
The FDA recommends contacting your local veterinarian if you fed or were feeding your pet(s) any of the recalled food products. If your pet is showing possible symptoms of aflatoxin toxicity – even if they did not eat the recalled food products – you should seek veterinary care. There is no antidote for aflatoxin poisoning, so treatment typically involves limiting future exposure by stopping feeding the contaminated food and through treating any other issues that present themselves.
Recalled Pet Food List
The pet food manufacturer issued its first recall in December. Then, just this month, they expanded it to include all foods that contained corn. So far, more than 1,000 lots have been recalled. The FDA notes that with an ongoing investigation the number of contaminated pet foods could very well continue to increase.
The following lots of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. products are under recall, so long as they have an expiration date on or before 07/06/22 and include the lot code “05” (which can be found on the back of the bag in the format “EXP mm/dd/yyyy/05/L#/B###/HH:MM”):
- Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
- Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
- Sportmix Maintenance, 44 lb. bag
- Sportmix Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
- Sportmix High Protein, 50 lb. bag
- Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
- Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
- Sportmix Stamina, 44 lb. bag
- Sportmix Stamina, 50 lb. bag
- Sportmix Bite Size, 40 lb. bag
- Sportmix Bite Size, 44 lb. bag
- Sportmix High Energy, 44 lb. bag
- Sportmix High Energy, 50 lb. bag
- Sportmix Premium Puppy, 16.5 lb. bag
- Sportmix Premium Puppy, 33 lb. bag
- Splash Fat Cat 32%, 50 lb. bag
- Nunn Better Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
- Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 lb. bag
- Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 lb. bag
If you have any of the pet food products listed above, the FDA recommends discontinuing using it even if you are unable to identify the expiration date or lot number. Even if your dog or cat is not showing signs of aflatoxin poisoning after eating a recalled food product, he or she could still be experiencing liver damage. Not all animals show symptoms. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to find out more. While there is no evidence to suggest that people who handle products containing aflatoxin will become ill, it is still important to remember to wash your hands after handling pet food.
If your pet fell ill or died after eating Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s contaminated pet food products, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now to learn more.
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