Sportmix Pet Food Recall: More Than 110 Pet Deaths Now Linked to Tainted Food
More than 110 pet deaths—and sicknesses in at least 210 more animals—have been connected to Midwestern Pet Food's recall of its Sportmix dog and cat food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday. The recall also affects one kind of freshwater fish food.
The Jan. 26 update from the FDA added no additional food to the recall, but the administration did release a list of countries where the already-recalled food was distributed along with updating the number of affected animals.
Some of the affected dogs had eaten the company's Sportmix food, which contained "very high levels" of aflatoxin, according to the FDA. Tests from the Missouri Department of Agriculture revealed the toxin, which is produced by mold and can cause sickness and death in both animals and humans. Not all the deaths and illnesses have been confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning.
Here's what you need to know from the FDA:
How Much Food Has Been Recalled?
Midwest Pet Food in December identified nine contaminated lots of Sportmix dog and cat food, but on Monday the company greatly expanded the recall to more than 1,000 lots of food. The FDA says the company is recalling all the food that contains corn, was made at its Oklahoma plant, and expires on or before July 9, 2022.
The Sportmix was sold online and in stores across the United States. The FDA warned Tuesday that the food was also shipped to Bahrain, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, Trinidad, Ukraine, UAE, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
For the expanded January recall: The specific lot codes for this recall aren't listed because so many are presumably affected. Instead, you should keep your pet from eating the following kinds of food if the expiration date is on or before "07/09/22" and includes "05" in the lot code, the FDA says. (The number means it was made at the Oklahoma plant and matches the lot codes recalled last month.)
- Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40-pound bag
- Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40-pound bag
- Splash Fat Cat 32 Percent, 50-pound bag
- Nunn Better Maintenance, 50-pound bag
- Sportmix Original Cat, 15-pound and 31-pound bags
- Sportmix Maintenance, 44-pound and 50-pound bags
- Sportmix High Protein, 50-pound bag
- Sportmix Energy Plus, 44-pound and 50-pound bags
- Sportmix Stamina, 44-pound and 50-pound bags
- Sportmix Bite Size, 40-pound and 44-pound bags
- Sportmix High Energy, 44-pound and 50-pound bags
- Sportmix Premium Puppy, 16.5-pound and 33-pound bags
"Do not feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animals," Midwest Pet Food urges in its announcement of the voluntary recall. "Destroy the products in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them. Wash and sanitize pet food bowls, cups and storage containers."
From the initial December recall: You can tell whether your bag of Sportmix has been recalled by looking at the lot code information on it. Here's what the codes look like: "EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM." Specifically, you'll be looking for the number after the L.
Here's the list of pet foods being recalled:
- Sportmix Energy Plus:
- Sportmix Premium High Energy:
- Sportmix Original Cat:
If your pet has eaten Sportmix recently, keep a close eye on him and stop feeding him that food immediately. Then call your veterinarian. What makes aflatoxin especially dangerous for pets, the FDA says, is that unlike humans, they mostly eat the same food over and over. When that happens, the aflatoxin can build up.
Here are the symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets: jaundice (yellow tints in the eyes, skin, and gums because of liver damage), vomiting, sluggishness, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The FDA writes that the toxin can cause long-term liver issues—which might not be obvious to naked eye—and can eventually lead to a pet's death.
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms—or has eaten the food at all—contact your veterinarian and provide them with your furry friend's dietary history and a photo of the lot number from the bag of food.
You can also report the illness to the FDA here.