Pet foods recalled after 70 dogs die in US
Potentially unsafe levels of aflatoxins were found in the products.
Several pet food products have been recalled in the United States following the deaths of at least 70 dogs.
Midwestern Pet Foods recalled its Sportmix brand and other labels of pet food this week after 70 dogs died and 80 others became ill.
An investigation has shown that the products contained potentially unsafe levels of aflatoxins, a mould by-product that grows on grain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US said: "As of January 11, 2021, FDA is aware of more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food."
"FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about certain Sportmix pet food products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. in their Oklahoma plant that may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins.
"Not all of these cases have been officially 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."
Consumed at high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets. Produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus, the toxin is found in corn and other grains that are often used as ingredients in pet food.
The FDA said: "Pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may have symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea.
"In severe cases, this toxicity can be fatal. In some cases, pets may suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms."
The agency told pet owners to be aware of poisoning symptoms in their pets and to stop using the product immediately. They also suggesting removing the pet food from their homes to ensure it is not consumed.
The recall has since been expanded this week to include others brands.
Midwestern Pet Foods said: "We continue a thorough review of our facilities and practices in full co-operation with FDA in an effort to better serve our customers and pet parents who have put their trust in us."