The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall for some lots of Sportmix Pet Food on Wednesday due to very high levels of aflatoxin. The FDA’s press release said it is aware of 28 dogs who have died after eating the product, and eight dogs who have become ill, however, it anticipates that the scope and numbers could expand as the investigation continues.
Deputy Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Division of Compliance, Amber McCoig, said in the FDA press release, “although this pet food recall is still unfolding, we are sharing the facts we have so far because the levels of aflatoxin found in the recalled pet food are potentially fatal. We are working quickly on this developing situation and will continue to update the public as new information becomes available. This is in service of FDA’s mission to protect human and animal health.”
The FDA is reportedly alerting pet owners and veterinarians about the dangers in the pet food products, which are manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. The company also issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of the pet foods. The investigation into the products is being completed by the FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Multiple tested samples reportedly have already found high levels of aflatoxin.
Pets who have encountered aflatoxin poisoning potentially could suffer from “sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and/or diarrhea.” It could also cause liver damage, and in some cases could be fatal. Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus, a mold, and can grow on corn or grains which are used in pet foods.
The press release encouraged pet owners to stop feeding pets the products, ensure that no animals have access to the products, and to consult a veterinarian if pets who have eaten food from the listed lots are showing signs of illness. The FDA reported that there is no evidence that pet owners who have handled the pet food are at risk for aflatoxin poisoning, however, it did encourage them to always wash their hands after handling aforementioned pet foods.