RECALL: Pet food linked to hundreds of dog deaths recalled

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners of a possible link between certain dog food brands and a serious form of canine heart disease.

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UTAH (ABC4) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall warning of a Midwestern Pet Foods product, SPORTMiX, after discovering toxins in the food.

The recall was issued after the consumption of SPORTMiX was linked to the death of at least 130 pets and more than 220 pet illnesses, the FDA reports.

The FDA discovered high levels of aflatoxin present in the food after analyzing food samples.

According to the FDA, aflatoxin is produced by the mold, Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets.

Investigations of Midwestern’s Chickasha, Oklahoma plant were conducted after the FDA received reports of death and illness in dogs who had consumed the product.

Inspectors discovered the manufacturing plant violated multiple safety procedures, which officials believe caused the contamination.

SPORTMiX samples revealed aflatoxin levels as high as 558 parts per billion (ppb). To give context, the FDA considers pet food “adulterated if it contains more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin.”

According to FDA records, Midwestern Pet Foods voluntarily recalled SPORTMiX back in December 2020 for the same issue of contamination.

“It is imperative that manufacturers and distributors of pet foods understand their responsibility to comply with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations and, when applicable, to implement a robust hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls program,” says Steven M. Solomon, M.P.H., D.V.M., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “We’ll continue to hold companies accountable and protect animal health as a core element of the FDA’s public health mission.”

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