FDA Says Recalled Pet Food May Be Linked to 130 Dog Deaths

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The New York Times 19 August, 2021 - 04:09pm 16 views

What dog food does Midwestern Pet Foods make?

9634 Hedden Rd. Earthborn Holistic from Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. is a dog food line combining proteins, fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals selected to support immunity and wellness. Five formulas are available: Adult Vantage, Ocean Fusion, Puppy Vantage, Small Breed and Primitive Natural. petfoodindustry.comMidwestern Pet Foods Inc. Earthborn Holistic dog food

FDA says more than 130 dog deaths, 220 illnesses may be linked to Midwestern Pet Foods

USA TODAY 20 August, 2021 - 11:40am

The agency said in a release on Tuesday that it has issued a warning letter to the Indiana-based company after finding as of Aug. 9 that more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 illnesses may be linked to eating brands of pet food manufactured by Midwestern.

An inspection of Midwestern's plant in Chickasha, Oklahoma, found that samples of the company's Sportmix dry dog food contained high levels of aflatoxin, which is produced by mold and can grow on corn and other grains used to make pet food, according to the FDA. High levels of aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.

"Not all of these cases have been confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review," the FDA said in the release. "This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected."

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets include vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

"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," Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.

The company has not responded to a request for comment by NBC News. The FDA has requested a written response from Midwestern within 15 working days outlining steps it has taken to fix the violations.

The FDA's findings come after it issued a recall in December for several products made by Midwestern and then expanded it in January when becoming aware that more than 110 pets have died and 210 pets were sickened from eating pet food made by the company.

That was followed by Midwestern issuing a voluntary recall in March of certain dog and cat food brands because they were potentially contaminated with salmonella.

Scott Stump is a New Jersey-based freelancer who has been a regular contributor for TODAY.com since 2011, producing news stories and features across the trending, pop culture, sports, parents, pets, health, style, food and TMRW verticals. He has tackled every assignment from interviewing astronauts on the International Space Station to prison inmates training service dogs for military veterans. 

Midwestern Pet Food Problems Keep Getting Worse

Newser 20 August, 2021 - 11:40am

(Newser) – Midwestern Pet Food has been recalling products since last year due to aflatoxin poisoning and salmonella poisoning, and the problem does not appear to be going anywhere. In a warning letter sent to the company, the FDA says more than 130 dogs may have died and another 220 or more been sickened by the company's products, NPR reports. The FDA inspected manufacturing plants after Midwestern's earlier recalls, and those inspections "revealed evidence of significant violations" of food safety regulations, and also found high levels of aflatoxin, a toxic mold that is poisonous and can cause illness or death in animals. It was found in SPORTMiX and other brands produced by the company, CBS 2 reports.

As for salmonella, "Midwestern's food safety program appears inadequate to significantly minimize or prevent salmonella in its pet food," the FDA says, per NBC News. Salmonella was found in SPORTMiX and Earthborn varieties. The violations "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," an FDA director says in a statement. The company has 15 days to come up with a plan to fix the problems before it faces legal action. (Read more pet food recall stories.)

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