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RECALL: Pet Food Has 36 Cases Of Aflatoxin Poisoning And Counting

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on December 31, 2020

On December 30th, 2020, Midwestern Pet Foods recalled nine lots of their Sportmix pet food. The food is said to contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin in it. Many dogs have already fallen ill or died due to this contaminated food.

This recall is still an ongoing investigation. So, the numbers and details could change and expand as new information is discovered. If you feed your dog Sportmix pet food, please be cautious and keep an eye out for additional information.

Sportmix dog food
Image: @sportmixpetfood/Facebook

What Was Recalled?

As of December 30th, 2020, nine lots of this food were recalled. However, the FDA and Department of Agriculture are currently researching to determine if other products were affected, including other brands with similar ingredients. So far, the FDA is aware of 28 deaths and 8 illnesses related to the recalled products.

Here is the list of recalled products:

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

Lot codes can be found on the back of the bag toward the top. They’re listed in three lines, with the top line looking similar to the lot codes listed above.

Sportmix Energy Plus
Image: @sportmixpetfood/Facebook

What is Aflatoxin?

Aflatoxin is a toxin that can cause illness and death in pets, especially when ingested at high levels. It’s produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, and the mold is not always visible. Pets are more susceptible to it than humans because they eat the same food every day while humans eat a much wider variety. If your dog eats a contaminated product, the toxin could accumulate in your dog’s system without you even knowing.

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in dogs and cats include sluggishness, a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice. The toxicity can also have long-term effects on your dog’s liver, which could lead to death.

There’s no evidence that humans can be affected by the recalled dog food. But even so, it’s advised that you always wash your hands after handling any dog food products.

What Should You Do if You Have These Products?

Retailers selling this dog food are urged to contact the manufacturer for further instructions. If they’re able, they should also contact their customers that have purchased the affected products.

Dog Carrying Stick
Image: @sportmixpetfood/Facebook

If you have one of the recalled products at home, stop feeding it to your pet immediately. You can contact the company for further instructions or throw the food away in a secure location. If you discard the food, make sure it’s in a place that’s out of reach from all animals and children. Sanitize anything that touched the food, including bowls, scoops, and surfaces.

Dogs who have eaten the affected food should visit the vet. Even if your pup shows no symptoms, they could be experiencing pain without you realizing it. Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry with your furry friend’s health. Tell your vet your dog’s diet history and show them a picture of the recalled food if possible. They can examine your dog from there for signs of aflatoxin poisoning.

You should contact the FDA if you suspect that your dog was affected by this recall. You can do this by visiting the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators in your state.

Featured Image: @sportmixpetfood/Facebook

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