On January 11, 2020 Midwestern Pet Foods announced that it had recalled several brands of dog and cat foods made with corn products that expire on or before July 9, 2022, that were manufactured at their Chickasha, OK facility. The recall was prompted by the report of the appearance of “aflatoxin levels which exceed acceptable limits.”
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus that can grow on corn and other grains typically used in pet food, according to the company’s announcement. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets. The pets that are especially susceptible to the toxin are those who don’t vary their diets and who eat the grain-based foods on a daily basis.
According to the official FDA website pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may have the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage)
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.”
According to an alert from the FDA as of January 11, 2021, more than 70 pets have died and more than 80 pets have gotten 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.
On December 30, 2020, Midwestern Pet Foods announced a recall of certain lots of Sportmix pet food products after the FDA was alerted about reports of at least 28 dogs that died and eight that were ill after consuming the recalled Sportmix pet food. Multiple product samples were tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and were found to contain very high levels of aflatoxins that were causing adverse reactions in pets who ate the foods.
This is the official statement that appears on the Midwestern Pet Foods website:
“As a fourth-generation family-owned company, Midwestern Pet Foods has been committed to ensuring that our products are safe and nutritious for nearly 100 years. Until recently, throughout our long history, we’ve never had a product recall. Though still limited in scope, in cooperation with the FDA and out of an abundance of caution, we have expanded the voluntary recall to include additional corn-containing lot codes of Sportmix, Pro Pac Originals, Splash, Sportstrail, and Nunn Better dry dog and cat foods produced in our Oklahoma Kitchen with an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022. The facility identifier for our Oklahoma Kitchen is “05”. This can be found at the end of the date code on recalled products. All other Midwestern Pet Foods products are unaffected by this recall. Example below:”
“We continue a thorough review of our facilities and practices in full cooperation with FDA in an effort to better serve our customers and pet parents who put their trust in us.
A call center staffed with licensed veterinarians has been established for our customers and pet parents who have questions or concerns regarding their pet’s health.
Tel: 800-474-4163, ext 455