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Since 2016, Midwestern Pet Food has had its fair share of hard nights due to recalls on both cat and dog foods. This recall involved multiple brands produced and marketed by the company at their Monmouth facility in Illinois due to possible salmonella contamination. The brand had specific lots of at least 11 products pulled out of the shelves. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration inspected their other 4 plants and recalled more brands for high levels of aflatoxin (558 ppb) in dog foods, which exceeds the recommended 20 ppb. The Midwestern Pet Food recalled brands may have resulted in over 220 illnesses and 130 deaths in 2020 and 2021.

All these products were sold via brick-and-mortar retail stores and online throughout the US.

About the Company

Founded in 1926, Midwestern Pet Foods is a family-owned and operated company that started from humble beginnings as a milling company. Currently in its family’s 4th generation headship, its marketing hype states, “specializes in the manufacture of nutritional dog and cat food recipes, treats, and oven-baked biscuits.”

Midwestern Pet Foods company makes and markets 12 pet food products including CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Meridian, Nunn Better, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Utilities, Splash, Sportmix, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, and Sportstrail. The company has several manufacturing plants located in Monmouth, IL, Evansville, IN, Waverly, NY. 

Recall History

As mentioned earlier, Midwestern Pet Foods has had no recalls before until between 2020 and 2022 when several recalls on different lots of specific brands were made. Below is a table representing a breakdown of the recalls:

What Midwestern Pet Food Brand were RecalledBag Size Date of ExpiryLot No.
Earthborn Holistic Adult Vintage25#

4#, 12.5#, 25#
May 4, 2022; May 5, 2022; Aug. 4, 2022; Sept. 19, 2022M2 L1M3 L1, L2M3, L1, L2, L3M3, L1, L2
Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch4#, 12.5#, 25#May 3, 2022; Aug. 4, 2022M1, M2, L1, L2, L3M3, M1, L1, L2, L3
Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast4#, 12.5#, 25#Aug. 8, 2022; Sept. 15, 2022M3, M1, L1, L2, L3M1, M2, L1, L2
Earthborn Holistic Large Breed25#May 3, 2022; May 4, 2022; Aug. 12, 2022; Sept. 15, 2022M2, L1, L2M3, L2M2, L1, L2M3, L1, L2
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast28#14#, 28#12.5#, 25#Apr. 26, 2022; May 9, 2022; Sept. 18, 2022M3, L2M1, M3, L1, L3M1, M2, L1, L2
Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion254#, 12.5#, 25#Aug. 3, 2022; Sept. 18, 2022M3, M1, L1, L2M1, L1, L2, L3
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline5#, 14#5#, 14#Apr. 29, 2022; Sept. 17, 2022M1, L1, L2, L3M3, M1, L1, L2

It would be hard to include the long list of Midwestern Pet Foods recall on a variety of its brands in this short article and table, but you can read it in full on the FDA website here. If your dog or cat has consumed any of the brands or sub-brands of Midwestern Pet Food featured in the recall, make sure you go to your vet. You should also dispose of the remaining bags of the recalled brands completely.

Reasons for Recall

The main reason why the Midwestern Pet Foods brand was pulled out of the shelves was due to high levels of aflatoxin in their foods as well as potential salmonella contamination. Out of its 12 brands and sub-brands, only 1 was not involved in the huge recalls list by the FDA.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that their inspections showed confirmation of serious food safety rules violations. The agency conducted these investigations in collaboration with the Oakland Department of Agriculture first between Dec. 31, 2020, and Feb. 5, 2021. The inspection, first at the firm’s Chickasha plant is OK, following a voluntary Class I recall about 19 products by Midwestern Pet Foods due to potentially high levels of aflatoxin levels.

This inspection on the brand was triggered by several consumer complaints leading to a follow-up by the FDA on the matter. The foods were suspected to cause mycotoxin poisoning that lead to the illness and possible death of pets, especially on the SPORTMiX High Energy Dog Food.

You can read more about the recall on the FDA official warning letter to Midwestern Pet Foods here.

Aflatoxin, on the one hand, is a toxic substance produced by some molds, such as Aspergillus flavus. This mold grows on certain pet food ingredients like peanuts, corn, as well as other grains. When consumed at high levels, it can lead to aflatoxicosis, damage of the liver, and even death. The danger of these toxins is that they can be present even when you can’t see mold on pet foods. Signs of aflatoxin poisoning in pets, as stated by the FDA, include vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, mysterious bleeding, or bruising. You may also see a yellowish tint to the gums, eyes, or skin because of liver damage.

Salmonella contamination, on the other hand, mainly occurs when you feed your pet raw diets, even those that you buy in pet food stores. The germs cause sickness in your dogs and cats and can extend the infection to your family through handling it directly or taking care of your pet. Symptoms of salmonella infection in dogs include increased fatigue, fever, and vomiting. As for cats, they will exhibit loss of appetite, excess salivation, and fever.

If you notice any signs written above in your pet that consumed the recalled Midwestern Pet Foods brand(s), be sure to see your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Midwestern Pet Food Recall List

The Midwestern Pet Food recall brands in the list of the FDA is long and the following brands and sub-brands are included:

  • 12 varieties of the Earthborn Holistic brand,
  • 3 varieties of the Meridian brand,
  • 13 varieties of the Pro Pac Ultimates brand,
  • 21+ varieties of the Sportmix brand,
  • 1 variety of the Sportstrail brand,
  • 3 varieties of the Unrefined brand,
  • 3 varieties of the Venture brand, and
  • 2 varieties of the Wholesomes brand.

You can read about these recalls in detail here on the official FDA website. 

In a statement issued by Steven Solomon, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine director, the agency said that they were issuing a corporate-wide warning letter following their inspection on various manufacturing facilities owned by the Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. This was in relation to their dry food variety that led to the sickness and likely death of hundreds of pets.

FDA Report on the Recall

The FDA issued an official notice to Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. about a recall on their brands and sub-brands following inspections of the company’s manufacturing plants. In its report, the FDA said that MPF’s plants revealed a critical violation of pet foods safety. In their opinion, the conditions at the firm’s plants would have possibly led to the sickness and possible death of hundreds of felines and canines.

Here is what the FDA reported:

“Analysis of these subsequent samples found that additional SPORTMiX branded products, spanning multiple products and lot codes, contained aflatoxin at levels as high as 558 ppb. FDA considers that aflatoxin levels in dog and cat food above 20 ppb will support a charge of adulteration…because of the reasonable possibility that a regular diet of such food will be fatal or injurious to the health of the pet. Therefore, these pet food products manufactured in your Oakland facility are adulterated in that they bear or contain a poisonous or deleterious substance which renders them injurious to health.”

You can get a full FDA report on their official letter to MPF here.

The FDA also reported having found Midwestern Pet Foods’ food safety programs unsatisfactory to avoid or reduce contamination. As such, the company was given 15 days to answer back with a plan of action to amend the breaches before facing legal action. 

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