FDA Investigating Midwestern Pet Foods, Says Over 130 Dog Deaths May Be Linked to Consumption

by Jon D. B.

Midwestern Pet Foods is “associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who had eaten the company’s dry dog food,” according to the FDA.

Take heed, dog lovers & owners! The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to the pet food company Tuesday. It’s one any who’ve bought Midwestern Pet Foods products should be aware of.

In their statement, the FDA cites the Indiana family-owned company of violations in their manufacturing plants. The administration’s own inspections are responsible for the discovery.

The warning letter, which pet owners can read in full here, states that the FDA is now aware of “more than 130 pet deaths… And more than 220 pet illnesses that may be linked to eating brands of pet food manufactured by Midwestern” this August.

Seeing as the death of 1 beloved pet is enough – those are terrible numbers. The culprit? “Unsafe levels of aflatoxin,” which is a byproduct of mold.

USA TODAY has reached out to Midwestern Pet Foods for comment amidst the announcement. So far, there has been no response.

“The FDA is dedicated to taking all steps possible to help pet owners have confidence that the food they buy for their animal companions is safe and wholesome,” says director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Steven Solomon, in a congruent statement

Solomon confirms the plight, stating that samples of the company’s dog food “contain high levels of aflatoxin,” per USA TODAY.

Pet Owners Who’ve Fed Midwestern Pet Foods Should Look for the Following Symptoms

For a bit more context, aflatoxin can grow via mold on corn and similar grains. Such grains are commonly in pet food, as pet owners know. In high trace amounts, aflatoxin can and will cause illness, and potentially death, in dogs. Other pets are susceptible, as well.

If you have fed Midwestern Pet Foods to your pet recently, please look for the following symptoms:

  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes, or gums due to liver damage)
  • Diarrhea.

For clarification, Midwestern Pet Foods makes the following brands: CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes… Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix and Meridian, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA does cite, however, that “not all of these cases [are due to] aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review. “This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected,” their Tuesday statement continues.

On Tuesday, Aug 17, the FDA has requested a “written response from the company within 15 working days stating the specific steps they have taken to correct any violations.”

Any “failure to adequately address any violations promptly” may result in legal action, the administration says. This includes “product seizure and/or injunction.”

“It is imperative that manufacturers and distributors of pet foods understand their responsibility to comply with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations and, when applicable, to implement a robust hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls program,” FDA director Solomon adds in his statement. “We’ll continue to hold companies accountable and protect animal health as a core element of the FDA’s public health mission.”

This is the third recall for Midwestern Pet Foods in 2021 alone.