There couldn’t have been a worse start to 2021 for pet parents. In what is thought to be the first pet food recalls 2021, at least 28 dogs have died and eight others have fallen ill from toxin reportedly found in certain dog foods.
The food containing the toxin has been identified as certain Sportmix products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods. The products have been voluntarily recalled Midwestern Pet Foods.
In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with the manufacturer to determine whether more products contain high levels of the toxin. The FDA said the investigation is ongoing and the “scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available.”
FDA Pet Food Alert
Aflatoxin is produced by the Aspergillus flavus mold, the FDA said. It can grow on grains used as ingredients in pet food, and when high levels of aflatoxin are consumed, it can cause illness or death in pets.
Pets poisoned by aflatoxin can display symptoms that include sluggishness, jaundice — a yellowish tint in the eyes or gums caused by liver damage — loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, according to the FDA.
Even if a pet is not displaying any symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, the FDA recommends that pet owners who have pets that have eaten the affected products contact their veterinarian — as it can cause long-term liver damage.
While the FDA says there is no evidence that pet owners who have handled the affected food are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning, it recommends that they always wash their hands after handling pet food.
Pet Foods Flagged for Recall
Specifically, the following dry pet foods have been flagged for recall:
- Sportmix Energy Plus, 50-pound bag
- Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
- Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
- Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
- Sportmix Energy Plus, 44-pound bag
- Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50-pound bag
- Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44-pound bag
- Sportmix Original Cat, 31-pound bag
- Sportmix Original Cat, 15-pound bag
- Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
- Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
Pet parents are encouraged to report suspected illnesses to the FDA electronically through the FDA’s safety reporting portal or by calling the state consumer complaint coordinator. The FDA also offers a guide with steps to report a pet food complaint which you can access by clicking here.
Pet Food Recalls 2021 – Fast Facts
The FDA provided the following fast facts on this pet food alert:
- FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about certain Sportmix pet food products (see list below) manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. that may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin.
- FDA is aware of at least 28 deaths and 8 illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled product.
- This is an ongoing investigation. Case counts and the scope of this recall may expand as new information becomes available.
- Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.
- Pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may have symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In severe cases, this toxicity can be fatal. In some cases, pets may suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms.
- Pet owners should stop feeding their pets the recalled products listed below and consult their veterinarian, especially if the pet is showing signs of illness. The pet owner should remove the food and make sure no other animals have access to the recalled product.
- FDA is asking veterinarians who suspect aflatoxin poisoning in their patients to report the cases through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. Pet owners can also report suspected cases to the FDA.
More Information on Pet Food Recalls 2021
For more information on pet food recalls 2021, please visit the dedicated FDA website: FDA Alert: Certain Lots of Sportmix Pet Food Recalled for Potentially Fatal Levels of Aflatoxin