Sunshine Mills Inc. began a voluntary recall on September 2, 2020 of various pet food products due to a potential contamination of aflatoxin. On October 8, 2020, Sunshine Mills Inc. expanded their recall of various pet food products. Following an investigation done with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it was determined that the previous recall should be expanded to include additional products produced between April 3, 2020 and April 5, 2020 that may contain elevated levels of aflatoxin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that often contaminates maize or other crops. In the case of Sunshine Mills Inc., there was a single load of corn that contained elevated levels of aflatoxin that was used for a variety of corn-based products. Aflatoxin is no new issue, though. As stated by a food poisoning lawyer, Dr. Tony Coveny, “The highest concern for aflatoxin contamination is in corn, a staple in many diets and commonly used in feed for animals . . . Aflatoxins are a heavily researched mycotoxin because of their potent carcinogenic effects to the liver and other deleterious effects on humans.”
Aflatoxins do not just affect humans, however, as emphasized in this recall. Many pets may also suffer toe consequences of ingestion of aflatoxin. Symptoms of aflatoxin toxicity in pets include sluggishness/lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, yellowish tint to eyes or gums, diarrhea, and sometimes death.
As of October 8, 2020, no human or animal illnesses have been reported associated with this recall; however, if a customer’s pet begins to exhibit any of the previously stated symptoms, they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The recalled products were distributed within the United States, as well as two products to distributors in Japan, and one product to a distributor in Colombia. For a full list of the recalled pet food products, see the FDA’s publication of the company’s announcement. Customers should check the lot code on the back of pet food bags to determine whether they’re affected by this recall. Lot codes of affected products can be found on the full list of recalled pet food products. Customers should discontinue the use of any recalled products, and return whatever is left for a full refund. Sunshine Mills Inc. customer service is available to answer questions or concerns at 800-705-2111 or [email protected].