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FDA Recalls dog food linked to deaths of 28 dogs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of some Sportmix pet food products that could put your four-legged loved one in danger.

On Dec. 30, the FDA said some of the brand’s products may contain high levels of aflatoxin as indicated from product samples tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The toxin is created from the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on grains used as ingredients in pet food.


According to the FDA, the products have been linked to the deaths of at least 28 dogs and sickened at least 8 others.

Some symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning to watch for in pets include loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea. Pet owners are being asked to contact a veterinarian immediately if they observe their pet experiencing any symptoms.


What Products are Involved?

On December 30, 2020, Midwest Pet Food, Inc. announced a recall of nine total lots of Sportmix pet food products. FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with the firm to determine whether any additional products may have been made with the same ingredients containing potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin. As new information becomes available, this product list may continue to expand.

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”

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Food, Inc. on December 30, 2020 is:

  • 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



What is the Problem?

On December 30, 2020, Midwestern Pet Food, Inc. announced a recall of certain lots of Sportmix pet food products after FDA was alerted about reports of at least 28 dogs that have died and eight that have fallen ill after consuming the recalled Sportmix pet food. Multiple product samples were tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and found to contain very high levels of aflatoxin.


Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and at high levels it can cause illness and death in pets. The toxin can be present even if there is no visible mold.


FDA is issuing this advisory to notify the public about the potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin in pet food products that may still be on store shelves, online, or in pet owners’ homes.

FDA is conducting follow-up activities at the manufacturing facility.


What are the Symptoms of Aflatoxin Poisoning in Pets??

Pets are highly susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because, unlike people, who eat a varied diet, pets generally eat the same food continuously over extended periods of time. If a pet’s food contains aflatoxin, the toxin could accumulate in the pet’s system as they continue to eat the same food.


Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death. Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms. Pet owners whose pets have been eating the recalled products should contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing signs of illness.


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.



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