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Violations By Pet Food Company Led To 'Illness Or Death Of Hundreds' Of Dogs, FDA Says

One of the products recalled due to high levels of aflatoxin in January
One of the products recalled due to high levels of aflatoxin in January Photo Credit: Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. / FDA

Federal officials have sent a warning letter to a pet foods company after finding evidence of violations at its plants associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who ate the company's dog food.

Samples of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.'s dry dog food were found to contain high levels of aflatoxin, a toxin produced by a mold that can grow on pet foods, according to a report from the United States Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, Aug. 17. The company previously issued recalls of a number of its products due to this issue.

The FDA said that as of Monday, Aug. 9, it has received reports of more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 pet illnesses that may be linked to eating Midwestern Pet Foods' products. 

"Not all of these cases have been confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review," the FDA said. "This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected."

The FDA said it has issued a corporate-wide warning letter following the inspections, which showed evidence of violations at the company's plants. 

In the letter, the FDA stated that inspections were conducted at facilities in Oklahoma, New York, Indiana and Illinois. 

The FDA said it requested a written response from Midwestern Pet Foods describing the steps it took to correct the violations, adding that failure to address the violations could prompt legal action.

“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," said Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

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