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US pet food company recalls products after 70 dogs die due to suspected poisoning

US FDA noted that all cat and dog products from Midwestern Pet Foods may contain high levels of aflatoxin that could have been behind the deaths.

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New Delhi: US pet food company Midwestern Pet Foods has recalled all of its pet food, which contains corn and was manufactured in its Oklahoma plant, after 70 dogs died by allegedly consuming their products.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monday noted that all dog and cat pet food products made with corn products by the company may contain high levels of aflatoxin — a toxin created by corn mold.

All pet food that expires by 9 July 2022 have been recalled by the company while the FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are in the process of determining if any other products manufactured by the company need to be recalled.

Midwestern Pet Foods also clarified that the recall only applies to products manufactured in its Oklahoma facility.

The company said that it’s the first product recall in its long history.

“Midwestern Pet Foods has been committed to ensuring that our products are safe and nutritious for nearly 100 years. Until recently, throughout our long history, we’ve never had a product recall,” the company said in a statement.

Retailers have been asked to not sell or donate the recalled products and contact customers who bought the food, if possible.

It has been advised that the products be destroyed completely so they don’t come in contact with children or wildlife.

Also read: Research shows you can make your dog happier with just one ingredient

High levels of Aflatoxin can cause death

Aflatoxin, produced by mold Aspergillus flavus grows on corn and other grains that are used in pet foods. High levels of Aflatoxin can cause illness and even death in pets. Aspergillus flavus is known to thrive in extremely dry conditions.

Symptoms of Aflatoxin poisoning in pets include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice and diarrhoea. Pets are more susceptible to this kind of poisoning because they don’t typically eat a varied diet like humans.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the toxin poses threat to humans, the FDA has advised they be kept out of touch and that humans wash their hands after handling pet products.

This is not the first time pet food has been recalled in the US due to dangerously high levels of this toxin.

In September 2020, the FDA had alerted pet owners about high levels of aflatoxin in certain pet products manufactured by Sunshine Mills in Louisiana. All the products were recalled by the company.

Also read: Going back to work? Here’s how to manage your dog or cat’s anxiety


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