In a shocking announcement yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that at least 28 dogs have died and eight became ill after eating some Sportmix dry dog food products.
The cause of all those deaths was toxic levels of aflatoxin in the products. Aflatoxin is a mold that can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food.
Midwestern Pet Food, Inc., the company that manufactures the products, announced the voluntary recall on Dec. 30, after the FDA was alerted of all the dog deaths. In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the FDA is now investigating certain Sportmix pet food products. “Case counts and the scope of this recall may expand as new information becomes available,” the FDA stated.
Recalled Sportmix Products
The following dry pet food products are included in this voluntary recall. They were distributed nationally to online sellers and retail stores. The FDA has encouraged retailers to contact consumers who purchased these products if possible.
Sportmix Energy Plus:
44-lb. bags with the lot number EXP 03/02/22/05/L3
50-lb. bags with the lot numbers EXP 03/02/22/05/L2, EXP 03/02/22/05/L3 and EXP 03/03/22/05/L2
Sportmix Premium High Energy:
44-lb. bags with the lot number EXP 03/03/22/05/L3
50-lb. bags with the lot number EXP 03/03/22/05/L3
The lot number can be found on the back of the bag in a three-line code, as in this example:
The following dry cat food products are also included in the recall, although there have been no reports of cats becoming ill:
Sportmix Original Cat
15-lb. bags with the lot numbers EXP 03/03/22/05/L2 and EXP 03/03/22/05/L3
Symptoms of Aflatoxin Poisoning
The symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning may include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (a yellowish tint to your dog’s eyes or gums), and diarrhea. If you’ve been using the recalled products and your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should take them to your veterinarian right away. Some dogs show no symptoms yet still experience liver damage, so you should still have your pet checked out by your veterinarian.
You can report your dog’s Sportmix-related illness to the FDA online through its Safety Reporting Portal or by contacting your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. The FDA suggests working with your veterinarian to submit your dog’s medical records with your report.
If you have any of the recalled products, dispose of them in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them. Wash and sanitize pet food bowls, cups and storage containers. The FDA says there is no evidence that people who handle the food are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning.
For more information about this recall, contact Midwestern Pet Foods Consumer Affairs at 800-474-4163, ext. 455 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday, or by emailing email@example.com.