The Food and Drug Administration said the dogs were sickened or died after eating Sportmix pet food.

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The dog food was found to contain high levels of aflatoxin which can cause illness or death in pets.

According to USA Today, aflatoxin is a toxin that can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food, according to the FDA. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness and death in pets.

Midwestern Pet Foods, which makes the dog food, voluntarily recalled the products on December 30th.

The Evansville, Indiana, family-owned company said in a statement Wednesday that in its nearly 100 years it has never had a recall until recently. In their recall notice, the company said they were acting out of an abundance of caution...

"There have been reports of illnesses and deaths in dogs associated with certain lots of products. No human illnesses have been reported....We have expanded this recall to cover all corn products containing pet foods with expiration dates prior to 07/09/22."

The FDA says pet owners whose pets have been eating the recalled products should contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing signs of illness.

There is no evidence to suggest that pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling pet food.

A search for Sportmix Pet Food shows it is sold at several South Jersey retailers, including Pets Plus in Mays Landing, English Creek Supply and  Tractor Supply Company locations in Little Egg Harbor, Hammonton and Rio Grande.

Midwestern Pet Foods says it has a call center with licensed veterinarians for consumers who have questions or concerns regarding their pet’s health. Call 800-474-4163, extension 455, or email for more information.

Sources: FDA/USA Today

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