Maker: Sunshine Mills, Inc.
Cause: Potentially elevated levels of aflatoxin
Announcement: FDA report dated Oct. 8, 2020 (archived here); expanded from original recall announcement on Sept. 2, 2020
What was recalled: Various dry dog food brands, as well as one brand of dry cat food, all produced by Sunshine Mills, as listed below.
In September, Sunshine Mills announced a limited recall of certain lots of adult dry dog foods following a positive test result for elevated aflatoxin, a mold byproduct that can be harmful to pets — and even deadly — in large enough quantities.
Now, that earlier recall has been greatly expanded. It now includes 17 different brands produced by Sunshine Mills, including Champ, Field Trial, Good Dog, Sportsman’s Pride and more.
Below is the full list of pet foods being recalled, along with the specific lot codes:
Champ Mini Chunk Dog Food Beef and Chicken Flavor:
- 12 lb., lot code TC2 3/APRIL/2020, UPC #7328315416
2. Family Pet
Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef, Chicken & Cheese Flavors Premium Dog Food*:
- 4 lb., lot codes TD3 4/APRIL/2020 or TD1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #3225120694
- 14 lb., lot codes TB1 4/APRIL/2020, TB2 4/APRIL/2020 or TB3 3/APRIL/2020, UPC #3225118078
3. Field Trial
Field Trial Complete Nutrition Premium Dog Food:
- 16 lb., lot code TC2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015514530
4. Good Dog
Good Dog Brand Dog Food Hi-Energy Formula:
- 50 lb., lot code TA1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #5216624165
5. Heartland Farms
Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites Beef, Chicken & Cheese Flavor Dog Food*:
- 14 lb., lot codes TB1 4/APRIL/2020 or TB2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015514299
- 31 lb., lot codes TA2 4/APRIL/2020 or TA3 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015514301
6. Hunter’s Special
Hunter’s Special Dog Food Hi Energy Formula:
- 50 lb., lot codes TA1 5/APRIL/2020, TA2 5/APRIL/2020 or TA3 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015510145
Hunter’s Special Dog Food Maintenance Formula:
- 50 lb., lot codes TB3 4/APRIL/2020 or TB1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015510135
Hunter’s Special Farm & Ranch Recipe Super Chunks Dog Food:
- 50 lb., lot codes TC2 5/APRIL/2020 or TC3 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015510182
7. Old Glory
Old Glory Dog Food Hearty Beef & Chicken Flavor:
- 4 lb., lot codes TE3 3/APRIL/2020 or TE2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015514339
- 12.75 lb., lot codes TA3 3/APRIL/2020, TB1 3/APRIL/2020, TC1 3/APRIL/2020, TC2 3/APRIL/2020, TC3 3/APRIL/2020, TA1 4/APRIL/2020, TC1 4/APRIL/2020, TA2 4/APRIL/2020, TB2 4/APRIL/2020 or TC2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015514298
8. Paws Happy Life
Paws Happy Life Butcher’s Choice Beef, Chicken & Cheese Flavors Dog Food*:
- 16 lb., lot codes TA1 4/APRIL/2020 or TA2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #3680035763
Paws Happy Life Nutritionally Complete Dog Food:
- 17 lb., lot code TC2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #3680042561
9. Pet Expert
Pet Expert Always Fit Formula:
- 50 lb., lot code TC2 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #5208887976
10. Principle Super Premium
Principle Super Premium Natural Dog Food Breeder Pack:
- 40 lb., lot codes TA3 4/APRIL/2020 or TA1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #580179586032
Retriever Bites & Bones Adult Complete Nutrition Savory Chicken Flavor:
- 52 lb., lot codes TC3 4/APRIL/2020 or TC1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #4939422642
12. River Bend
River Bend Dog Food Basic Nutrition:
- 40lb., lot code TC1 5/APRIL/2020, no UPC provided
- 50 lb., lot code TC1 5/APRIL/2020, no UPC provided
River Bend Dog Food Select:
- 50 lb., lot code TB3 4/APRIL/2020, no UPC provided
13. Sportsman’s Pride
Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult Formula Dog Food:
- 20 lb., lot code TB1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015510082
- 50 lb., lot code TB1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015510110
Sprout Bites & Bones:
- 50 lb., lot code TC2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015505091
Sprout Hi-Protein Cat Food:
- 20 lb., lot codes TI2 4/APRIL/2020 or TI3 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #70155505120
- 40 lb., lot code TI3 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015505119
- 40 lb., lot code TB1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015505096
- 20 lb., lot codes TA3 4/APRIL/2020 or TA1 5/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015505095
Thrifty Adult Dog Food:
- 12 lb., lot codes TI1 3/APRIL/2020, TI2 3/APRIL/2020, TI3 3/APRIL/2020 or TA2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #7015513096
16. Top Runner
Top Runner Premium Dog Food:
- 50 lb., lot code TB1 3/APRIL/2020, UPC #3540650070
17. Whiskers & Tails
Whiskers & Tails Adult Recipe Complete Dog Food:
- 17 lb., lot code TC2 4/APRIL/2020, UPC #2114003022
*Note: Items in the list above that are marked with the asterisk symbol were part of the original recall announced in September 2020.
Keep reading below, because I have a lot more to share about this…
I’m Expecting Additional Aflatoxin Recalls — And Here’s Why
The new announcement includes new details. For example, we now know that corn was the affected ingredient. All of the recalled pet foods have corn as one of the primary ingredients.
This is not surprising. Aflatoxin becomes more prevalent in drought years, and this was a drought year in the Midwest region.
In fact, the last time conditions were so bad was the record-setting drought of 2012 — which happened to precede lots of aflatoxin-caused pet food recalls in the months that followed.
With that said, all of the recalled foods above were produced within only a 3-day period in early April, well before the summer heat and extremely dry conditions set in. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional recalls of corn-based pet foods. In fact, I’d bet money on it.
The Good News
Here’s the good news: Sunshine Mills says no illnesses have been reported.
That’s great because serious health problems can emerge in pets who ingest too much of the toxin. “Pets with aflatoxin toxicity (aflatoxicosis) may show symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, diarrhea, and in some cases, death,” according to the recall announcement.
The announcement adds, “Pets experiencing any of these symptoms after consuming the recalled products should be seen by a veterinarian.”
What to Do If You Have One of These Foods
All of the affected products were distributed to retail stores across the United States.
If you have one of the specific pet foods (including the exact lot codes) listed above, do not feed it to your pet. Return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund, or call Sunshine Mills at 800-705-2111 if you have any questions.
This is one of several recalls of pet foods produced by Sunshine Mills this year. In late August 2020, the company issued a recall of certain bags of Nature’s Menu dog food — though the reason for that one was possible salmonella contamination.
If you have not done so already, we urge you to sign up now for Petful’s FREE recall alerts by email. Our free alerts are saving pets’ lives.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Sunshine Mills, Inc. Expands Previously Announced Voluntary Recall of Certain Pet Food Products Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Aflatoxin.” Oct. 8, 2020. Archived at https://www.petful.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Sunshine-Mills-Inc.-Expands-Previously-Announced-Voluntary-Recall-of-Certain-Pet-Food-Products-Due-to-Potentially-Elevated-Levels-of-Aflatoxin-_-FDA.pdf.
- Grabanski, Ray. “June Yield Loss Estimates Similar to 2012 Drought Year, Analyst Says.” Agriculture.com. June 16, 2020. https://www.agriculture.com/markets/analysis/june-yield-loss-estimates-similar-to-2012-drought-year-analyst-says.
- Good, Keith. “Derecho and Drought Take Toll on Corn.” Farm Policy News, University of Illinois. Aug. 30, 2020. https://farmpolicynews.illinois.edu/2020/08/derecho-and-drought-take-toll-on-corn/.
- Gillam, Carey and Julie Ingwersen. “Dog Food Recall Underscores Toxic Danger in Drought-Hit U.S. Corn.” Reuters. Feb. 25, 2013. https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-corn-aflatoxin/dog-food-recall-underscores-toxic-danger-in-drought-hit-u-s-corn-idUSL1N0BP9SP20130225.
- Phillips, Donaldson, Debbie. “Will 2013 Be Another Bad Year for Mycotoxins in Petfood?” Petfood Industry. March 5, 2013. https://www.petfoodindustry.com/blogs/7-adventures-in-pet-food/post/4635-will-2013-be-another-bad-year-for-mycotoxins-in-petfood.
- Aquino, Simone, and Benedito Corrêa. “Aflatoxins in Pet Foods: A Risk to Special Consumers.” In Aflatoxins: Detection, Measurement and Control. Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico. 2011. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221918452_Aflatoxins_in_Pet_Foods_A_Risk_to_Special_Consumers.
- Osweiler, Gary D., DVM, PhD. “Aflatoxicosis.” Merck Veterinary Manual. Dec. 2014. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/mycotoxicoses/aflatoxicosis.
There were more recalls in 2020. See the previous one:
(Or browse recalls by brand name)