According to the FDA, the pet food contained “potentially fatal” levels of a toxin called aflatoxin that is produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains that are used as ingredients in pet food.
If the toxin is ingested, pets can experience symptoms such as “sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and/or diarrhoea,” the report said, adding that ingestion can be fatal in severe cases.
The FDA also warned that pets who consume the toxin may experience liver damage but not show any symptoms.
In the report, the agency said it is alerting both pet owners and veterinarians about the pet food products, which are manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.
In addition to notifying the public of the recall, the FDA also urged pet owners whose pets have been eating the food to contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing symptoms.
The pet food company first issued a recall of the products on 30 December after reports of dogs that had fallen ill after eating its Sportmix products.
Following the reports, the Missouri Department of Agriculture tested multiple product samples and found “very high levels of aflatoxin,” which can be present even if there is no visible mould.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture and the FDA are currently working with the pet food company to determine whether any additional products contain the toxin, with the FDA noting that it is an ongoing investigation and case counts may expand.
According to the FDA, there is “no evidence” to suggest that humans who handle the food are at risk of becoming sick.
The full list of recalled products can be found here.