On Aug. 17, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc following plant inspections. Furthermore, the letter stated that brands of pet food manufactured by Midwestern were possibly linked to more than 130 pet deaths and over 220 pet illnesses due to consumption.
Steven M. Solomon, M.P.H., D.V.M., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, stated, “We are issuing this corporate-wide warning letter because inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s manufacturing plants revealed evidence of violations, which were shared across multiple plants and were associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who had eaten the company’s dry dog food.”
The Culprit In Midwestern Pet Foods
According to the report, SPORTMiX dog foods manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods in Evansville, Indiana, contain high levels of aflatoxin. Moreover, aflatoxin is a byproduct of a corn mold Aspergillus flavus, which at high levels can kill pets.
The FDA considers pet food “adulterated” if it contains more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin. Shockingly, the FDA found that the corn-based dog food sold by Midwestern had levels of aflatoxin as high as 558 parts per billion (ppb).
In addition to serious health concerns, animals exposed to high levels of aflatoxin can develop fatal aflatoxin poisoning. As per the FDA, pets who suffer from aflatoxin poisoning typically exhibit signs such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and unexplained bruising or bleeding. Aflatonix can also cause blood clotting in some instances and liver damage and death in the long run.
Furthermore, Midwestern made a voluntary recall after several samples tested positive for Salmonella. Brands include; CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix, and Meridian.
Despite this correction, the FDA still found that Midwestern’s food safety program lacked critical elements. According to the report, the food safety program appeared to be ineffective in preventing Salmonella. Furthermore, the FDA reported that none of the recalled items should be available for purchase to the public.
What’s Next For Midwestern Pet Foods?
Midwestern Pet Foods has been requested to send the FDA a written response. FDA requires a company to respond within 15 days with specific steps describing its plans to resolve any violations observed. The company will face legal actions if it fails to respond or correct its violation.
What To Do If Your Pet Consumed Midwestern Pet Foods?
Dispose of any recalled pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. from your home. Contact your veterinarian, regardless of symptoms. It’s possible some pets may not exhibit any symptoms at all.