It takes just one recall for a pet food brand to lose the trust of its buyers. In this case, it’s Sportmix pet food. Sportmix pet food is made by Midwestern Pet Foods, and they recently earned the title of one of the worst pet food recalls ever. In 2021, more than 110 pets died after eating this food.
Now, millions of pet owners just like you want to do everything in their power to avoid this pet food manufacturer. And we don’t blame them. How can you trust them after something like this? Here’s the thing about pet food manufacturers: they often make more than one brand. In this case, Midwestern Pet Foods makes 12 different pet food brands.
Today, we’re unveiling the truth about Midwestern Pet Foods and what you can do to protect your pet from recalls in the future. Let’s dive in.
Who Owns Midwestern Pet Foods?
Midwestern Pet Foods is sort of a middleman. They make Sportmix pet food, but the company is owned by an even bigger company called Nunn Milling Company, Inc.
Nunn Milling Company, Inc. started in 1926 in Evansville, Indiana, and has operated as a family-owned business. Currently, the company is in its fourth-generation family ownership run by Jeffery J. Nunn.
Sportmix Pet Foods comes from four different facilities in Evansville, Indiana; Monmouth, Illinois; Chickasaw, Oklahoma; and Waverly, New York.
The Oklahoma facility contained the poisonous substance that took the lives of many beloved pets.
How Does a Food Recall Work?
Recalls start when the FDA learns about a product that may cause harm to a pet. There are several reasons this is, and it could be something as simple as a mislabeling of the product.
In any case, the FDA monitors everything closely and checks with the company if the recall helped. The FDA splits these recalls into three different types:
- Class III: The product is unlikely to cause injury or illness but violates FDA regulations.
- Class II: The product might cause serious injury or illness
- Class I: The product can cause serious injury or illness and may be fatal.
Unfortunately, all the recalled products from the Oklahoma facility were classified as a Class I recall.
The Sportmix Pet Food Recall
Midwestern Pet Foods issued a recall on December 20th, 2020 when several reports of their pet food tested positive for aflatoxin poisoning. Aflatoxin is a class of mycotoxin produced by aspergillus flavus, a type of food mold. This mold can grow on grains and seeds during the growing season and even after harvest. Temperature and humidity play a major part in the potency of this mold.
After touring all the facilities, the FDA found that Midwestern Pet Foods had significant violations, including aflatoxin levels 28 times above the safe upper limit. They also found other pet food brands from the Illinois facility were positive for salmonella poisoning.
All of this resulted from poor sanitation, storage, and packaging practices. More than 210 pets became sick, and 110 pets died.
Other Midwestern Dog Food Brands Recalled
Naturally, Midwestern Pet Foods had to recall the 10 other brands made in their facilities. These brands included:
- Earthborn Holistic
- Nunn Better
- Pro Pac
- Pro Pac Ultimates
Protecting Your Dog From Recalls
This kind of news is scary to hear. We know mistakes happen and no pet food company is perfect, but some things are hard to forgive. So how do you protect your pet from recalls like this?
The only true way to protect your pet from a recall is to make a homemade diet. That’s not practical for everyone, so try a diet rotation instead.
With a diet rotation, you pick two or three different pet food brands from different manufacturers and rotate them in your pet’s diet. This will help keep a safe distance between your pet and potential food poisoning
Diet rotation also keeps your dog’s diet well-balanced. Some pet foods have more protein, other pet foods have more fat, and some pet foods have added vitamins and minerals than other brands. Rotating between two or three brands ensures your dog doesn’t receive too much of one thing.
Finally, keep track of recalls. The FDA is a good place to start. But you can also follow your pet’s food brand on social media and email to receive instant alerts.
At this time, the FDA has closed the recall on Midwestern Pet Foods. We don’t know what will happen to the manufacturing company as it’s hard to bounce back from something like the Sportmix recall.
But you as the reader can take steps to protect your pet from other people’s accidents. Remember, rotate your dog’s food and keep track of recalls. These two things will help keep your pet safe and give you peace of mind.