Warning: We have photos of over 60 different known dog foods sold in New York that the FDA believes has led to the "illness or death of hundreds of dogs."
On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a corporate-wide warning letter to Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. after inspections of its manufacturing sites revealed alleged violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that were shared across the sites.
"These conditions likely contributed to the illness or death of hundreds of dogs," the FDA states.
"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," Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Steven M. Solomon stated.
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The initial inspection of Midwestern’s Chickasha, Oklahoma plant was triggered by reports of illness or death in dogs that had eaten SPORTMiX brand dry dog food manufactured by Midwestern. Samples of SPORTMiX were later found to contain levels of aflatoxin as high as 558 parts per billion. The FDA considers pet food to be contaminated if it contains more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets, officials say.
As of August 9, the FDA is aware of more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 pet illnesses that may be linked to eating brands of pet food manufactured by Midwestern. Not all of these cases have been confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review. This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected, officials say.
After inspecting Midwestern’s Chickasha plant, the FDA also inspected the company’s three other manufacturing plants. These inspections revealed evidence of significant violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulation.
FDA inspectors found salmonella and toxic levels of aflatoxin at four Midwestern Pet Foods, including at a plant in Waverly, New York.
In January, the company voluntarily recalled these products, as well as all corn-containing pet foods manufactured at its Chickasha plant. In March, Midwestern recalled several brands of pet food manufactured at its Monmouth, Illinois plant after samples tested positive for Salmonella. The FDA found that Midwestern’s food safety program appears inadequate to significantly minimize or prevent Salmonella in its pet food. None of the recalled products should be available to consumers to purchase.
A complete list of the products recalled by Midwestern can be found in the photos below:
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