The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has alleged that over 130 deaths and 220 illnesses could have been caused by popular dog food brand Midwestern Pet Foods after an investigation “revealed evidence of significant violations” of food safety regulations.
This investigation was sparked by a recall of several dog food products including its Sportmix dry dog food. An inspection of four of the company’s plants followed.
The FDA issued a warning letter to the pet food manufacturer stating that high levels of aflatoxin were detected, a figure of 558 parts per billion. Note that the limit allowed is 20 parts per billion. This poisonous substance produces deadly molds that can cause illness and death in dogs and other animals. Several other brands produced by the company were also recalled after they tested positive for salmonella. According to the FDA, the company did very little to prevent this.
In their statement, the director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Steven Solomon, stated, “We are issuing this corporate-wide warning letter because inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s manufacturing plants revealed evidence of violations, which were shared across multiple plants and were associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who had eaten the company’s dry dog food.”
The investigation also revealed that the company’s safety programs were inadequate to prevent or minimize contamination. The company has 15 days to issue a response outlining a plan of action or face legal action.