A food brand is recalling some of its products after more than 70 dogs died and another 80 became ill in the United States.
According to the Food and Drug Admnistration (FDA), the country’s health surveillance agency, the probable cause of intoxication is a fungus present in food.
Indiana’s Midwestern Pet Foods brand started the recall in December 2020, after tests on products found high levels of aflatoxin, which is produced by mold.
Up to that time, 28 dogs had been reported dead. The symptoms seen in dogs were diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice.
The brand announced the extended recall on Monday (11), including new products, one for cats. The expiry date indicated on the products is July 2022.
The FDA said in a statement that it is “notifying the public of potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin in Midwestern Pet Food products that may still be on market shelves or present in pet owners’ homes.”
In all, five products are included in the recall. Resellers were instructed not to sell or donate the listed products and, if possible, to contact consumers who may have purchased the products.
The company issued a statement defending itself. “We are a four-generation company and our commitment for almost 100 years is to ensure that our products are safe and nutritious. Until recently, during our long history, we have never had a recall.”
The FDA says the investigation is still ongoing.
Aflatoxin is produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, which grows on corn and other grains. At high levels, it can cause death and liver damage. The toxin can be present even where there is no visible mold.
Animals with aflatoxin poisoning may experience slowness, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice.
Although no disease has been reported in humans or cats, the FDA has suggested that people wash their hands after feeding their animals.