US company Midwestern Pet Foods has recalled five of its products after it caused the deaths of over 70 animals and illnesses in others.
On December 30, the company recalled its Sportmix products. In a release, it said this was “due to tests indicating levels of Aflatoxin that exceed acceptable limits."
It explained, “Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.
“There have been reports of illnesses and deaths in dogs associated with the below listed lots of Sportmix High Energy. No cat or human illnesses have been reported. We are cooperating with the FDA regarding this matter and sincerely apologise to the families that this situation has affected.”
On Tuesday, it added four other products to the recall list: Pro Pac Originals, Splash, Sportstrail, and Nunn Better dry dog and cat foods produced at its Oklahoma kitchen “with an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022.
It said the facility identifier for Oklahoma Kitchen is "05," which can be found at the end of the date code on recalled products.
It said no other Midwestern Pet Foods products were affected by this recall.”
Locally, Sportmix and Pro Pac products are supplied by Franco Trading and Distribution Ltd. The company is yet to issue a public release on the recall.
When Newsday called on Thursday morning, a worker said she knew the products had been recalled. But when further questions were asked, she suggested calling back at a later time to speak with the company’s general manager.
The FDA, in a statement, 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. Not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review.
“This is an ongoing investigation. Case counts and the scope of this recall may expand as new information becomes available.”
Newsday contacted South Oropouche-based animal shelter Animals Alive and its president, Kathryn Cleghorn, said while it uses Purina products, there may be a possibility people had donated some of the recalled products recently. She said she has to check and thanked Newsday for alerting her.
A representative from the Trinidad and Tobago Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA) also said it would check recent donations to ensure none of the listed products are in their stocks.
These products are also sold in Barbados and Curacao.
More as this becomes available.