Midwestern Pet Foods issued a massive dog-food recall due to possible salmonella contamination, which can cause bacterial infections in both pets and their owners. The recall affects 140 specific lots of dry dog and cat food products from five parent brands, including several different sub-brands, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company initiated the voluntary pet food recall on March 26 after routine sample testing conducted at a Monmouth, Illinois, manufacturing plant indicated that the affected products could contain salmonella bacteria. (In December 2020, Midwestern issued an unrelated dog-food recall on products made at its Oklahoma plant due to potential aflatoxin contamination; more than 110 deaths and 210 cases of illness in pets were reported to the FDA as of January 21.)
The brands included in the recall are Sportstrail, Sportmix (including their Wholesomes and CanineX sub-brands), Pro Pac (including Pro Pac Ultimates), Meridian, and Earthborn Holistic (including their Unrefined and Venture sub-brands). The recall includes lots with certain expiration dates from a number of product lines for puppies and adult dogs of various breed sizes, including a wide variety of flavors and bag sizes. Five of the 140 recalled lots involve cat food products.
To find out if you need to take action, consult the FDA's full list of recalled products, including the specific bag sizes, expiration dates, and lot numbers to check for, as well as images of the packaging. All of the lot numbers will contain the letter “M,” which signifies they were produced at the Monmouth facility.
While the FDA has not yet received any reports of illnesses, salmonella infection poses a risk to cats and dogs, as well as their humans (particularly when a person hasn't properly washed their hands after handling the food or surfaces the food has touched, like a scoop or bowl). Pets sickened with salmonella can develop a variety of symptoms, such as lethargy, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain, according to the FDA. Sometimes, though, pets can carry the infection without getting sick, potentially exposing other animals and humans to the bacteria. If your pet consumed one of the recalled products and shows any of the symptoms listed, get in touch with your vet.
People infected with salmonella typically experience similar symptoms, like diarrhea (possibly bloody), fever, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, which can come on anywhere from six hours to six days after infection, and last four to seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of people recover completely without any specific treatment, the CDC says, although antibiotics are needed in rare cases where the infection spreads outside the intestines, causing serious complications in other parts of the body. Call your doctor if you came into contact with one of the recalled products and have symptoms of serious illness, which, according to the FDA, can also include endocarditis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and arterial infections.
If you do have one of the recalled products, the FDA advises destroying or discarding the food so that children, pets, or wildlife animals cannot get access to it. You should also thoroughly wash and sanitize any bowls, cups, or storage containers touched by the food—and wash and sanitize your own hands immediately after. Distributors and retailers are being directed to pull the recalled products and get in touch with customers who bought the recalled products if they have a purchase tracking system that gives them that information.