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WEDNESDAY, Aug 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it had sent a warning letter to a pet food company associated with contaminated food that has caused illness or disease in hundreds of dogs Could have caused death.
The letter was issued after inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods Inc.’s manufacturing facilities found violations of federal food, drug and cosmetic laws, the agency said in a press release.
The FDA told the company that it has 15 working days to identify specific steps that have been taken to remediate violations. If violations are not appropriately corrected, legal action can be taken, including product seizure and / or injunctions, the agency said.
As of Aug. 9, the FDA was aware of more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 pet illnesses that may be linked to Midwestern pet food consumption, but the agency said the actual numbers could be higher.
An initial inspection of the Chickasha, Oklahoma, Midwestern plant was triggered by reports of illness or death in dogs who ate the company’s SPORTMiX branded dry food.
Aflatoxin levels of up to 558 parts per billion (ppb) have been found in samples from SPORTMiX. The FDA considers pet food contaminated if it contains more than 20 ppb of aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the Aspergillus flavus mold, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. In high concentrations, aflatoxins can cause disease and death in pets.
This isn’t the first time Midwestern Pet Foods has struggled with product contamination: In March, samples of pet food made at the company’s Monmouth, Illinois facility tested positive for salmonella.
Midwestern has recalled a number of pet foods and the FDA has conducted inspections of the company’s three other manufacturing facilities. These inspections revealed significant violations of a number of federal regulations.
“The FDA is committed to taking all possible steps to help pet owners have confidence that the feed they buy for their companions is safe and healthy,” said Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine . “It is imperative that pet food manufacturers and distributors are aware of their responsibility to comply with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations and, if necessary, implement a robust hazard analysis and a risk-based preventive control program.”
Visit the US Food and Drug Administration to learn more about the warning letter.
SOURCE: US Food and Drug Administration, press release, August 17, 2021