The Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners after finding that products made by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. It has been “linked to the illness or death of hundreds of pets that ingested company dry dog food.”
In a statement Tuesday, the agency said it issued a warning letter to the Indiana-based company after discovering as of August 9 that more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 illnesses may be linked to eating brands of Western-manufactured pet foods. middle.
An examination of a Midwest plant in Chikasha, Oklahoma, found that samples of 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 Food and Drug Administration. High levels of aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets.
“Not all of these cases have been confirmed as aflatoxin toxicity by laboratory testing or a review of the veterinary registry,” the FDA said in the statement. “This number is an approximation and may not reflect the total number of affected pets.”
Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets include vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
“We are issuing this company-wide cautionary letter because inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s manufacturing plants have revealed evidence of abuse, which has been shared across multiple plants and has been linked to the illness or death of hundreds of pets that ate hundreds of pets,” said Stephen Solomon, Managing Director of The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in a statement: “The Company’s Dry Dog Food.”
The company did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News. The FDA has requested a written response from the Midwest within 15 business days outlining the steps it has taken to fix the violations.
The FDA’s findings came after last December it issued a recall of several products made by Midwestern, and then expanded it in January when it realized that more than 110 pets had died and 210 had fallen ill from eating the company’s pet food.
This was followed by Midwestern’s release in March of a voluntary recall of some dog and cat food brands because they were likely to be contaminated with salmonella.