The FDA has issued a statement confirming that 130 pets have died and hundreds more have fallen ill after eating food produced by Midwestern Pet Foods.
Back in January, the company issued a recall of its Sportmix, Pro Pac, and Nunn dog foods and Splash Fat Cat Fish Food after an FDA inspection of its Chickasha, Oklahoma production facility found levels of aflatoxin (a potentially fatal toxin that can grow on common pet food ingredients) as high as 558 parts per billion; the legal threshold for aflatoxin is no more than 20 parts per billion.
Midwestern Pet Foods issued another a voluntary recall in March after samples of its CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix and Meridian dog foods produced at its Monmouth, Illinois plant tested positive for salmonella.
A recent FDA inspection of all four of Midwestern Pet Foods’ plants found significant violations of the government’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulations.
“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,” Steven M. Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.
The FDA has also reported that its inspectors found Midwestern’s food safety programs to prevent or minimize contamination are wholly inadequate, and the agency has given the company 15 days to respond with a concrete plan of action to immediately correct the violations, or else face legal action.
Midwestern Pet Foods has yet to release a statement responding to the FDA’s warning letter, but information from the January and March recalls can be found on the company’s website. In those notices, Midwestern wrote that people who have purchased the contaminated pet food should “destroy the food in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them,” and to thoroughly wash and sanitize any bowls or surfaces that have come in contact with the food. The company also wrote that concerned customers should email its Consumer Affairs department at email@example.com, or call 800-474-4163, ext 455 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday, for additional information.