FDA Issues Warning To Midwestern Pet Foods, High Aflatoxin Levels Found

The FDA has flagged another pet food manufacturer for contaminated food. Could it be your pup's favorite?

The pet food industry has been hit hard by recalls over the last year for various reasons. Dog and cat foods have been experiencing higher chemical amounts and contaminations, such as salmonella. The Food and Drug Administration just announced another. This time it is for Midwestern Pet Foods.

FDA Warning

Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc, based out of Evansville, Indiana, received a warning letter from the FDA stating that the dog food manufacturer had high levels of aflatoxin present. The toxins were found in the food during a recent inspection. Molds can produce the toxic substance. Aflatoxin poisoning is suspected to be the cause of over 130 dog deaths and 220 pet illnesses.

In a statement released by the director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, Steven Solomon, said, " We are issuing their 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."

Initial Findings

The statement from Solomon also said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture inspected the companies facility in Oklahoma In late December through February of this year. The inspections began because of the voluntary recall of 19 products on December 30, 2020.

On January 11, 2021, the product recall had been expanded because of consumer complaints of pet illnesses caused by mycotoxin poisoning. The Missouri Department of Agriculture collected samples of the Sportmix High Energy Dog food to test for mycotoxins. In addition, multiple Midwestern Pet Foods products were tested across facilities in Illinois, Indiana, and Oklahoma.

As a result of those tests, the FDA found evidence of significant violations. For example, in the Illinois facility inspection, the FDA found evidence of possible salmonella contamination in dog and cat foods among 104 products in the company's various brands of pet food.

Recalled Pet Brands

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The Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast, Coastal Catch, SPORTMiX 24/20 Energy Plus, and many others are among the recalled products. In March, the company also recalled brands produced from its Monmouth facility, including Pro Pac, Meridian, Venture, and CanineX. Pet owners can find the full list on the FDA's website.

Many of the affected products have expiration dates in February of 2022. The FDA also stated that "Midwestern's food safety program appears inadequate to significantly minimize or prevent Salmonella in its pet food."

Symptoms to Look Out For

Pet owners should stop feeding their pets food from these lines and keep an eye out for symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning. These symptoms include:

Retailers have been encouraged to pull all the products from their shelves and contact pet owners who may have purchased them if they have the ability to do so.

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