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FDA Expands Sportmix Pet Food Recall After 70 Dog Deaths

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Jan 132021
 

The Food and Drug Administration is again alerting pet owners about high levels of aflatoxin in some pet foods after 70 dogs reportedly died and 80 others were sickened.

The food containing the toxin has been identified as certain Sportmix products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods. The products were voluntarily recalled by the company on Wednesday.
The FDA 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.”
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.

What Products are Involved?

On December 30, 2020, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. announced a recall of nine total lots of Sportmix pet food products. On January 11, 2021, Midwestern expanded the recall (see below). 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 Foods, 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

On January 11, 2021, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. expanded the recall to include all pet food products containing corn that was made in the firm’s Oklahoma plant and that expire on or before July 9, 2022. More than 1000 lot codes are affected so they are not listed individually.

Lots of the following pet food products have been recalled if the date/lot code includes an expiration date on or before “07/09/22” and includes “05” in the date/lot code, which identifies products made in the Oklahoma plant:

  • Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 lb. bag
  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 lb. bag
  • Splash Fat Cat 32%, 50 lb. bag
  • Nunn Better Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
  • 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

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

Example product label demonstrating location and format of lot code information.

If you have one of the products listed above but do not know the lot code or expiration date, FDA recommends that you stop feeding the product.

The affected products were distributed to online retailers and stores nationwide within the United States.

What Do Pet Owners Need to Do?

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 pet 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.

Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets, and wildlife cannot access them. Sanitize pet food bowls, scoops, and storage containers using bleach, rinsing well afterward with water, and drying thoroughly.

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 any pet food.

You can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.