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Certain lots of Sportmix pet food products are now on recall after the FDA was alerted about high levels of aflatoxins and multiple dog deaths.

On January 11, 2021, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. expanded this recall further. The recall now includes all pet foods containing corn and manufactured in the company’s Oklahoma plant that have an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022. At this time, the FDA is aware of more than 70 dogs who have died and more than 80 who were sick after eating Sportmix pet food. The FDA was able to take immediate action thanks to research by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the University of Mizzou.

Dog owners who have been feeding their dog one of the affected Sportmix pet foods should top feeding the food immediately and contact their veterinarian. Here’s how to know if your dog’s food was impacted and what steps to take.

What Are Aflatoxins?

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause death and serious illness in pets. Aflatoxin can be produced by mold in grains, especially drought-stressed corn. Even if there is no visible mold, these toxins can be present in dog food.

What Are the Symptoms of Aflatoxin Poisoning?

Unlike humans, pets generally eat the same diet continuously. Because of this, the toxins (if present) can accumulate in your pet’s system. Here’s what to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellow tint to eyes, gums, or skin)
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, pets with aflatoxin poisoning will suffer long-term liver issues or death. If your dog has been eating the recalled product, contact your veterinarian immediately, and monitor your dog for symptoms. Even pets without symptoms may have suffered liver damage

Are Humans at Risk of Aflatoxin Poisoning?

There is no evidence that people who have handled Sportmix dog food are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. As a general rule, always wash your hands after handling pet food.

What Sportmix Pet Food is Recalled?

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. on December 30, 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”

What To Do if Your Dog’s Food Is Recalled?

If your dog’s food has been recalled, stop feeding the food immediately. The food should be returned to the store where it was purchased, and you may be able to obtain a refund. Or, you may properly dispose of the food in a manner that prevents other animals from gaining access to it.

If your dog has already been eating the recalled food, consult with your veterinarian to determine what actions, if any, you should take. Even if your dog is not showing any signs of illness, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian as quickly as possible. Depending upon the reason the food was recalled, your veterinarian will be able to determine what, if any, action should be taken.

If you believe your dog has become ill or has died because of eating a recalled food product, you should file a complaint with the FDA. You can file a report online or contact the FDA consumer complaint coordinator in your state.

If you can no longer feed your dog his usual diet due to a recall, try to find a similar food to replace it or ask your veterinarian for suggestions. Keep in mind that sudden changes in diet can lead to dietary distress for dogs.

Tips to Keep Your Dog’s Food Safe

  • Clean your dog’s food and water bowls daily with dish soap and hot water
  • Use stainless steel bowls
  • Keep opened canned food covered and refrigerated
  • Keep dry food in an enclosed container to prevent exposure to rodents and pests
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before, and especially after, handling pet food
  • Feed your pet a healthy diet, as recommended by your veterinarian
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