FDA Recalls Dog & Cat Food Over Life-Threatening Levels of Toxin

Be sure to check for these labels.

dog food recall 2020
Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalabala

Midwestern Pet Foods issued a nationwide recall of several of its Sportmix dog and cat food products on December 30.

The Indiana-based company issued the recall after testing revealed aflatoxin levels above "acceptable limits." The company's Sportmix High Energy dog food is linked to "at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled product," according to the FDA. The recalled products were distributed to online shops and retail stores across the country.

Aflatoxin is "a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains" used in pet food, per the FDA. Pets are especially susceptible to the toxin because their diets tend not to be varied. 

The recall urges anyone with the impacted products to dispose of them in a way that "children, pets, and wildlife cannot access them." You should also wash and sanitize any surfaces that the dog food touched, like counters and your pet's bowls.

Symptoms of potential aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, or diarrhea. If your pet needs to be taken to the vet with these symptoms, the FDA recommends you snap a picture of their pet food in case it's needed. (You can also report any suspected pet food-related illness through the FDA's safety reporting portal.)

Here are the specific Sportmix products that people are urged to toss out. It includes some cat food, but, at the moment, the FDA says that there are no reports of humans or cats getting sick from the tainted food.

Sportmix Energy Plus, 50-pound bag

  • Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
  • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2

Sportmix Energy Plus, 44-pound bag

  • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50-pound bag

  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44-pound bag

  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Original Cat, 31-pound bag

  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Original Cat, 15-pound bag

  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
  • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
dog food recall 2020 sportmix
Photo courtesy of the FDA

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.