The Food and Drug Administration issued a company-wide warning letter on August 17 to Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. , after the Food and Drug Administration determined that the company’s corrective actions to prevent additional contamination of pet food at its manufacturing sites were not sufficient.
“It is imperative that pet food manufacturers and distributors understand their responsibility to comply with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations and, where appropriate, implement a robust risk analysis and risk-based preventive controls programme,” said Dr. Stephen Solomon. Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine in a statement.
In December 2020 and January 2021, the Midwest voluntarily recalled all corn-containing pet food made at a Chickasha, Oklahoma factory, after fatal concentrations of aflatoxin were found in its Sportmix brand of dry dog food. Sportmix samples contained aflatoxin concentrations of up to 558 parts per billion. The Food and Drug Administration considers a pet food to be adulterated if it contains more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin.
As of August 9, the Food and Drug Administration was aware of more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 illnesses possibly linked to eating pet foods manufactured by the Midwest. This toll is approximate and may not reflect the total number of affected pets, according to the agency, adding that not all of these cases have been confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through lab tests or a review of veterinary records.
In March, Midwestern also recalled several pet food brands manufactured at its Monmouth, Illinois, plant when samples tested positive. salmonella.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has inspected all four manufacturing sites in the Midwest, including those in Waverly, New York, and Evansville, Indiana. As the agency noted in its letter to Midwest President and CEO Jeffrey Nunn, these inspections found evidence of “gross violations” of federal regulations entitled Current Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals.
“We acknowledge your voluntary withdrawal of an adulterated product contaminated with aflatoxin and salmonella,” the letter states. “However, recalling the product does not prevent a recurrence of a hazard in your pet’s food.
You have not provided documentation demonstrating that you have adequately implemented preventive control of mycotoxins that would significantly reduce or prevent this risk. You also have not provided documentation demonstrating that you have implemented preventive controls appropriately for salmonella To prevent product re-contamination at your Illinois facility or from occurring in your other three facilities. Therefore, we cannot fully assess your corrective actions.”
Midwestern had 15 business days to respond to the FDA, listing specific steps the company will take to resolve the issues raised by the agency.
Midwestern Pet Foods said in an August 27 press release that its response has been “rapid and comprehensive,” including conducting root cause analyzes and making large-scale upgrades to the company’s facilities.
“MPF is not aware of any food safety issues with respect to any products that are currently in its facilities or warehouses or have shipped back to customers back to previously performed recalls,” the company said. “MPF plans to deliver a robust and timely response to the FDA’s message.”