Two weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the shocking announcement that at least 28 dogs had died and eight became ill after eating some Sportmix dry dog food products.
In an even more disturbing update, the FDA reported yesterday that the death toll has now increased to more than 70 pets, with over 80 becoming ill. “Not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review,” the FDA stated. “This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected.” Yikes.
Aflatoxin is a toxic mold that can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food. At high levels, it causes illness and death in pets who eat the food.
Midwestern Pet Food, Inc., the company that manufactures the products, has expanded its initial Dec. 30 recall to now include all of its pet food products containing corn that were manufactured in the company’s Oklahoma plant.
“As a fourth-generation family-owned company, Midwestern Pet Foods has been committed to ensuring that our products are safe and nutritious for nearly 100 years,” the company said in a statement yesterday. “Until recently, throughout our long history, we’ve never had a product recall.”
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.
Sportmix Products Recalled Dec. 30, 2020
The following dry pet food products are included in the original Dec. 30, 2020 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
Additional Sportmix Products Recalled Jan. 11, 2021
On January 11, 2021, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. expanded its voluntary recall to include the following pet food products. More than 1,000 lot codes are affected (!), so they are not listed individually.
These products have been recalled if the date/lot code includes an expiration date on or before “07/09/22” and includes “05” in the date/lot code, which identifies products made in the Oklahoma plant.
- 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
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.