• Cierra Voelkl

Midwestern Pet Foods Recalls by the FDA

As of January 29th, 2021, more than 100 dogs have died and 210 gotten sick from a food in connection with an FDA recall. Back on December 30th, 2020, Midwestern Pet Foods recalled certain lots of their Sportmix pet food after the FDA became alerted about at least 28 dogs that had died and eight that were sick after consuming this food. The Missouri Department of Agriculture tested multiple product samples and shockingly found very high and dangerous levels of aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are caused by the mold Aspergillus flavusand. When this toxin is presented in such high levels, it can cause illness and death in pets. But the mold doesn’t have to be physically seen for the toxin to be present.

The FDA and manufacturer continued to expand the recall earlier in January to more lines of pet food by Midwestern Pet Food after more than 70 dogs had died and 80 others became sick. The food contained corn-containing Sportmix brand pet food products manufactured at its plant in Oklahoma, which had an expiration date of 07/09/22 or earlier — including 19 different products with over 1000 different lot codes, distributed through stores and online nationally. Midwestern Pet Foods says they expanded the recall “out of an abundance of caution to help protect the health and safety of pets." The recall includes all The FDA then released a list of countries that the company may have exported the contaminated food.


So far, there have not been any reported cases of cats dying or becoming ill despite the recall including three cat products and cats actually being more susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning.


So what exactly are the symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets?

Since pets usually eat the same food day after day, the toxin can continue to be ingested and enter their bloodstream and system, causing the symptoms to become worse and worse. If your pet has aflatoxin poisoning, they may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Sluggishness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Jaundice

  • Diahrea

What if you know your pet is eating the recalled food?

Pet owners whose pets have eaten the recalled food should contact their veterinarians whether they have symptoms or not. And while there is no evidence suggested that people can get aflatoxin poisoning from handling the food, it's suggested that you wash your hands after handling any pet food.


How do you know which foods are recalled exactly?

The following foods were in the initial recall on December 30th, 2020:

  • 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


Lots of the following pet food 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

Lot code information may be found on the back of bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM”


Source: Food Drug Administration


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