FDA Pet Food Recall Expanded as 70 Dog Deaths Now Linked to Toxic Midwestern Products

At least 70 dogs have died after consuming poisonous pet food that is now being urgently recalled by regulators.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is recalling additional of brands manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods following the discovery of potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin in some batches.

The company had already recalled three varieties of Sportmix dog foods and cat foods in December after 28 dog deaths wee linked to the food.

Another 42 dogs have died after eating the products in the past two weeks.

The affected products were made in an Oklahoma manufacturing plant and distributed to online retailers and stores nationwide within the United States, the FDA said in a statement.

The number of brands affected now includes all Midwestern Pet Foods dry dog and cat foods containing corn, manufactured in the company's Oklahoma plant, and having an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.

"As of January 11, 2021, FDA is aware of more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food," the FDA said.

The agency noted that not all cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning, neither through laboratory testing or veterinary record review, and stressed that the count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected.

The recall has expanded "to include all dog and cat pet food products made with corn products because those products may contain aflatoxin levels which exceed acceptable limits," Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., said in a statement on Monday.

Midwestern Pet Foods
Certain Sportmix products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods have been recalled after they were found to possibly contain aflatoxin levels which "exceed acceptable limits,” Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., said. FDA

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets. The toxins can be present even if there is no visible mold.

Pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea.

The following foods have been added to the original recall, however the FDA says there are more than 1000 lot codes effected. These feature an expiration date on or before "07/09/22" and includes "05" in the date/lot code.

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"

  • 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

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. on December 30 includes:

  • 50# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots Exp 03/02/22/05/L2, 03/02/22/05/L3, 03/03/22/05/L2
  • 44# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots 03/02/22/05/L3
  • 50# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 44# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 31# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 15# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L2, 03/03/22/05/L3

Pet owners are encouraged to report suspected cases to the FDA.

The investigation is ongoing, and the scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available, the FDA said.

Newsweek has contacted Midwestern Pet Foods for comment.

The latest pet food recall follows a similar case involving aflatoxin in pet food in October.

Dog food manufacturer Sunshine Mills Inc., which is headquartered in Red Bay, Alabama, recalled some of its products over concerns about the mold byproduct.

The company and FDA issued a recall of specific items—including some Champ, Field Trial and Good Dog products—in a list that was expanded in November.

Puppy
File photo: A seven-week old Dachshund puppy waits to be re-homed as 70 dogs are confirmed to have died after consuming poisonous pet food that is now being urgently recalled by regulators. Christopher Furlong/Getty