Dogs

Death rate rises in sports mix pet food aflatoxin investigation

Latest news: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of more than 70 pet deaths and more than 80 animal diseases associated with feeding mixed-use pet foods that contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin.

This number is approximate, according to the FDA, and may not reflect the total number of pets affected. Reports submitted only to the pet food manufacturer are not passed on to the FDA and are not part of this count.

Not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory tests or veterinary records review.

Sports Mixed Pet Food is manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. The company is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. However, the contaminated pet foods were manufactured at Midwestern’s Oklahoma manufacturing facility.

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On December 30, 2020, the company announced a recall of certain lots Sports mix pet food after the Missouri Department of Agriculture found “very high levels of aflatoxins” in multiple product samples.

Extended callback

The original recall has now been expanded to include all corn pet food products made at the Oklahoma facility that expire on or before July 9, 2022 – 1,000+ batch codes total.

Many of the following pet food products have been recalled if their date / lot code includes an expiration date on or before “07/09/22” and “05” in the date / lot code that identifies products made at the Oklahoma factory:

  • Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 pound bag
  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 pound bag
  • Splash Fat Cat 32%, 50 lb. bag
  • Nunn Better Maintenance, 50 pound bag
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 15 pound bag
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
  • Sport mix maintenance, 44 lb. bag
  • Sport mix maintenance, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix High Protein, 50 pound sachet
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 pound bag
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 pound bag
  • Sports mix endurance, 44 pound bag
  • Sports mix endurance, 50 pound bag
  • Sports mix bite size, 40 lb. bag
  • Sports mix bite size, 44 lb. bag
  • Sports mix High Energy, 44 lb. bag
  • Sports mix High Energy, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Premium Puppy, 16.5 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Premium Puppy, 33 lb. bag

The lot code information is located on the back of the bag and is displayed in a three line code, with the top line in the format “EXP 03/03/22 /05/ L # / B ### / HH: MM ”

Investigation is ongoing

The FDA is continuing to investigate the situation in collaboration with state departments of agriculture for Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. The number of cases and the scope of this recall may increase as new information becomes available.

What pet owners need to know

Pets are very susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because, unlike people who have a varied diet, pets generally eat the same food continuously for extended periods of time. If a pet’s food contains aflatoxins, the toxins can build up in the pet’s system if they continue to eat the same food.

Aflatoxin poisoning pets may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes, gums, or skin due to liver damage), and / or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver problems and / or death. Some pets experience liver damage without showing symptoms. Pet owners whose pets have eaten the recalled products should contact their veterinarian, especially if they show signs of illness.

If your pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, see a veterinarian right away. Even pets with no symptoms can have liver damage. So if your pet has eaten any of the recalled products, contact your veterinarian. Provide your veterinarian with a full diet history. It can be helpful to take a photo of the pet food label including the batch number.

Do not feed the recalled products to your pets or other animals. Contact the company listed on the box for further instructions, or throw the products away from children, pets, and wildlife. Disinfect pet food bowls, scoops, and food storage containers with bleach, then rinse well with water, and dry thoroughly.

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

You can report suspected disease to the FDA electronically through the safety reporting portal or by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators in your state. It is very helpful when you can work with your veterinarian to include your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful in filing a complaint with the FDA, see Reporting a Complaint About Pet Food.

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