Midwestern Pet Foods extended its recall of certain pet foods due to potentially lethal levels of aflatoxin after more than 70 dogs died and 80 became ill from consuming the product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an updated announcement Monday.
The company now remembers all pet food products containing corn that were manufactured at the company’s production facility in Oklahoma and have an expiration date of July 9, 2022 or earlier. This includes 1
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
Aflatoxin is a mold byproduct that has the ability to grow on corn and other grains that are often used as ingredients in pet food. At very high levels, “aflatoxins can cause disease and death in pets,” the FDA said.
The Midwestern originally issued a recall of nine different masses of Sportmix dry food for cats and dogs last month after the Missouri Department of Agriculture discovered “very high levels” of the toxin in several samples of the company’s Oklahoma plant.
The voluntary recall was initiated after the FDA received reports that at least 28 dogs had died and eight were ill after consuming the recalled pet food.
However, not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning, the FDA said.
Still, the agency and Midwestern Pet Foods are urging pet owners to safely discard the products due to toxins that may be present even if the form is not visible, according to the agency.
Pet food was remembered after the deaths of 28 dogs, the FDA says
Pets that have been poisoned by the toxin may appear sluggish and have a loss of appetite. They may also experience vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint in the eyes or gums due to liver damage) and / or diarrhea, the FDA said. In some cases, pets may also suffer from liver damage without even showing symptoms.
Unlike humans, pets are “very susceptible” to aflatoxin poisoning because they generally eat the same food, according to the FDA.
“If a pet’s food contains aflatoxin, the toxin can accumulate in the pet’s system as they continue to eat the same food,” the FDA said.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON SPEED by clicking here
Midwestern also encourages customers to wash and disinfect bowls for pets and areas where food was stored. The company also encourages retailers to contact customers who have purchased the affected products.
Pet owners should also consult their veterinarians about any concerns, especially if their pets are showing symptoms, the FDA said.
To date, the FDA says there is no evidence that handling food poses any risk to pet owners, even if they are encouraged to wash their hands after contact.
DOG FOOD CALLS FOR HIGH LEVELS OF POSSIBLE URBAN PRODUCT EXPANDS: FDA
The investigation of the case is ongoing. The FDA will continue to work with veterinarians and government partners to follow up on suspected cases of aflatoxin poisoning and plans to conduct follow-up activities at the production facility.
The Agency will update the public when more information becomes available.
Midwestern Pet Foods did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.