Animal Deaths Linked to Pet Food; Recall Expanded
A December recall alert for select Sportmix pet food has been expanded to cover more products. Contamination from aflatoxins, toxic substances that come from a mold called Aspergillus flavus, is already believed to have caused the deaths of 70 or more pets.
The recall covers all Sportmix dog and cat pet food products made with corn products at Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s Chickasha operations facility. Affected products will have an expiration date of 07/09/22 or earlier. Products that expire after that date are not included. The package can tell you whether the product was made at the affected location– if it was, you’ll find “05” and “REG. OK‐PFO‐0005” at the end of the date code. If your product has a three-line date code, that also indicates it comes from the Chickasha facility.
How do I know if my pet is sick?
The FDA says that symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets include “sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), unexplained bruising or bleeding, and/or diarrhea. In some cases, aflatoxins can affect blood clotting and cause long-term liver problems and/or death.” It’s also possible for pets to suffer from liver damage without showing symptoms, in which case extended consumption of contaminated food can lead to sudden death.
What do I do if I have Sportsmix pet food?
Check the expiration date and date code, then contact your vet immediately if you think your pet may be affected. You can also report the suspected case to the FDA or have your vet do so. Veterinarians are encouraged to use the FDA’s Safety Reporting tool or contact local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators if they encounter a suspected case of aflatoxin poisoning.
For more information, consult the FDA’s Alert page regarding this outbreak, the reference page about aflatoxin poisoning in pets, or the full recall page with more information on how to identify impacted products and lots.