Inside Indiana Business
EVANSVILLE – A pet food company based in Evansville has voluntarily recalled a line of dry dog and cat food after 28 dogs reportedly died.
Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. is a family-owned company that opened in 1926. It’s headquartered in Evansville, and its products are sold nationally.
Last week, the company recalled several types of its Sportmix High Energy products including:
Sportmix Energy Plus in 50- and 44-pound bags
Sportmix Premium High Energy in 50- and 44-pound bags
Sportmix Original Cat in 31- and 15-pound bags
The expiration date on these products is March 2 or March 3, 2022.
According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, the listed dog and cat foods tested for levels of Aflatoxin that exceed acceptable limits.
There have been reports of illnesses and deaths in dogs associated with a number of Sportmix High Energy dog foods that have been recalled as well as some cat foods.
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.
The USDA reported at least 28 dog deaths associated with the Sportmix products and illnesses in others.
No cat or human illnesses have been reported.
The FDA is conducting follow-up activities at the manufacturing facility for Midwestern Pet Foods Inc.
Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in petsAccording to the FDA, pets are highly susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because they generally eat the same food continuously over extended periods. So, if their food contains aflatoxin, the toxin will accumulate in the pet’s system.
Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or jaundice, which can cause a yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage.
In some cases, aflatoxin poisoning can cause long-term liver issues or death.
Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms.
The FDA stated there is no evidence to suggest that pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling pet food.
What pet owners should do
Pet owners are being advised to destroy the products in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them, as well as wash and sanitize pet food bowls, cups and storage containers.
If a pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, contact a veterinarian immediately. Because even pets without symptoms may have suffered liver damage, it’s advised to contact a veterinarian if your dog has eaten any of the recalled products.
These products are sold nationally to online distributors and retail stores. The USDA advises retailers and distributors should immediately pull recalled lots from their inventory and shelves. The recalled products should not be donated or sold.
This is one of many recalls for pet foods recently for containing unsafe levels of aflatoxin. In October, Sunshine Mills recalled several of its dry pet food products.
Midwestern Pet Foods Inc did not return messages seeking comment.