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Midwestern Pet Foods expands recall of aflatoxin-contaminated pet food

Last week it was 28. This week, it’s more than 70.

That’s how many pets have died after eating Sportmix pet food as of January 11, 2021, due to suspected aflatoxin poisoning. And more than 80 additional pets have been reported sick after ingesting the Sportmix products.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that not all cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review. The agency also notes the count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of affected pets.

Sportmix pet food is manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, which originally issued a voluntary recall on December 30, 2020, after the Missouri Department of Agriculture tested multiple samples and discovered elevated aflatoxin levels.

The company has voluntarily expanded its recall to include all dog and cat pet food products that contain corn and were made in their Chickasha, Oklahoma, manufacturing plant. The impacted products have the unique Chickasha identifier “05” in the date or lot code an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.

The lot code information is located on the back of the bags in a three‚Äźline code, with the top line in the following format: EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM.

The original recall included 9 lots of pet food. The expanded recall includes more than 1,000.

The affected pet food was distributed nationwide via both online and brick-and-mortar vendors, and in the wake of the new deaths, the FDA has expanded its investigation. In addition to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the agency is also working in cooperation with the state departments of agriculture for Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

Aflatoxins are poisonous substances produced by certain kinds of fungi that are found naturally the world over. The main fungi that produce aflatoxins are Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which can contaminate food crops such as corn used in the manufacture of pet food. As well as being dangerous to pets, aflatoxins pose a serious health threat to humans and livestock.

  • Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea. In severe cases, aflatoxin toxicity can be fatal.
  • In some cases, pets may suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms.

The FDA is asking veterinarians who suspect aflatoxin poisoning in their patients to report the cases through the FDA’s Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

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