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Pet food recall issued, FDA warns, after at least 28 pets die, others sickened

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A dog food recall has been issued after 28 dogs are dead and 8 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 at least 28 dogs that have died and eight that have 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.

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.

On December 30, 2020, Midwest Pet Food, Inc. announced a recall of nine total lots of Sportmix pet food products. FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with the firm to determine whether any additional products may have been made with the same ingredients containing potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin. As new information becomes available, this product list may continue to expand.

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

Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
Exp 03/03/22/05/L2

Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
Exp 03/02/22/05/L3

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

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”

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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