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FDA alerting after recall expanded on pet food after 70 animals die, 80 fall ill

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A dog food recall has been expanded after 70 pets are dead and 80 are sick.

On December 30, 2020, Midwestern Pet Food, Inc. announced a recall of certain lots of Sportmix pet food products after the FDA was alerted about reports of pets that have died and fallen ill after consuming the recalled Sportmix pet food. Multiple product samples were tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and found to contain very high levels of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and at high levels it can cause illness and death in pets. The toxin can be present even if there is no visible mold.

As of January 11, 2021, FDA is aware of more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food. Not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review. This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected.

The additional deaths and sicknesses caused Midwestern Pet Food to expand the recall.

According to the FDA, pets are highly susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because, unlike people, who eat a varied diet, pets generally eat the same food continuously over extended periods of time. If a pet’s food contains aflatoxin, the toxin could accumulate in the pet’s system as they continue to eat the same food.

Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death. Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms. Pet owners whose pets have been eating the recalled products should contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing signs of illness.

There is no evidence to suggest that pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling pet food.

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Food, Inc. on December 30, 2020 is:

Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk
Pro Pac Performance Puppy
Splash Fat Cat 32%
Nunn Better Maintenance
Sportstrail 50
Sportmix Original Cat 15
Sportmix Original Cat 31
Sportmix Maintenance 44
Sportmix Maintenance 50
Sportmix High Protein 50
Sportmix Energy Plus 44
Sportmix Energy Plus 50
Sportmix Stamina 44
Sportmix Stamina 50
Sportmix Bite Size 40
Sportmix Bite Size 44
Sportmix High Energy 44
Sportmix High Energy 50
Sportmix Premium Puppy 16.5
Sportmix Premium Puppy 33

Lot code information may be found on the back of the bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM”

This recall covers only product manufactured at Midwestern Pet Food’s Chickasha, Oklahoma facility. Note that the unique Chickasha Facility identifier is located in the date code as a “05” and “REG. OK‐PFO‐0005” at the end of the date code.

If your pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, contact a veterinarian immediately. Even pets without symptoms may have suffered liver damage, so you may want to contact your veterinarian if your dog has eaten any of the recalled products. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.

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