Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The Food and Drug Administration expanded a recall of Sportmix pet foods that may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins.
On Dec. 30, Midwestern Pet Foods announced a voluntary recall of certain lots of Sportmix pet food products after reports of dogs who died or became ill after consuming them. The FDA on Monday expanded the recall to include all pet foods containing corn that were manufactured in the company's Oklahoma plant with an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.
The agency said that as of Monday it was aware of more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 that have become ill after eating certain Sportmix products, although not all of the cases were confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning.
Aflatoxins are produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and at high levels can cause illness and death in pets. Symptoms include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice and/or diarrhea. The FDA added that pets can also experience liver damage without exhibiting symptoms.
The FDA advised pet owners not to feed the recalled products to their pets or any animal, to contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw products away in a method where children, pets and wildlife cannot access them in addition to sanitizing pet food bowls, scoops and storage containers using bleach, rinsing with water and drying thoroughly.
Pet owners whose pets show symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning were advised to immediately contact a veterinarian and veterinarians treating aflatoxin poisoning were encouraged to ask their clients for diet history.
Retailers were encouraged to refrain from selling or donating the recalled products and contact consumers who have purchased them if possible.