Dog Food Recalled After At Least 28 Deaths Reported

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The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall alert for a dog food brand after tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, and at least 28 dogs died after eating the food, while eight became sick.

The brand, Sportmix, makes both dog and cat food, and is manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods of Evansville, Ind. Multiple product samples tested found high levels of aflatoxin, resulting in three Sportmix products being recalled thus far (see list below).

Aflatoxin is a kind of toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. It can grow on grains used in dog food, such as corn, and at high levels can cause pets to become sick or even result in death.

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Because dogs (and cats) tend to eat the same food every day, if it has aflatoxin in it, the toxin can quickly build up in their systems. Signs of aflatoxin poisoning include tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice, a yellow tint in the eyes, skin or gums due to liver damage. (Some dogs can have liver damage and show no symptoms).

Retailers are pulling the products from shelves, while the agency is asking pet parents to stop feeding their animal the food.

The FDA said the investigation is ongoing and the “scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available.”

Other brands under the Midwestern Pet Foods umbrella are Earthborn Holistics, Pro Pac, Venture, Wholesomeness and Unrefined. There have been no reported cases with these brands.

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Here is the list of the food recalls — including name, expiration date and lot — as of Dec. 30:

  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag 
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

The FDA states that the lot code should be found on the back of bag and should follow this format:  EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM.

If a person’s dog has eaten Sportmix, the FDA suggests contacting the company ( 1-800-474-4163, ext. 455 or by email at to learn how to safely discard the food, so children, other pets, and wildlife can’t get to it. It also suggests cleaning everything that has touched the food – dog bowls, scoops, storage bins, and the like.

If you think your dog has become sick from Sportmix, the FDA encourages you to report it online through its Safety Reporting Portal or call your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

Related: When’s the Best Time to Switch Your Puppy to Adult Dog Food?