In case you haven’t heard, Sunshine Mills, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of select dog food products. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Was a Recall Issued?
Due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D in select dry dog food products, Sunshine Mills, Inc. issued a voluntary recall in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the last week in November.
If your dog ingests too much Vitamin D, he or she may exhibit the following symptoms: vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss. Consuming very high levels of Vitamin D can lead to renal dysfunction and other serious health issues in dogs. In severe cases, it may lead to kidney failure and/or death.
What Brands were Included in the Recall?
There were three brands–eight dry dog foods in total–affected by the recall, including both adult dog and puppy foods. So far, dog foods are the only pet products that have been affected. Be on the lookout for the following products:
-14 lb. bags of Evolve® Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-73657-00862-0
-28 lb. bags of Evolve® Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-73657-00863-7
Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy
-40lb. bags of Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-70155-10566-0
-40lb. bags of Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-70155-10564-0
Triumph® Chicken and Rice Dog Food
-3.5lb. bags of Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-73657-00873-6
-16lb. bags of Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food | UPC: 0-73657-00874-3
-30lb. bags of Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food | UPC 0-73657-00875-0
NOTE: The above products were distributed in retail stores within the United States and in some areas of Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. Bags affected have a best-buy date code of November 1, 2018 through November 8, 2019. The date code can be found on the back of each bag.
What Should I Do if I Have One of These Bags?
The first thing you should do is stop feeding your dogs these products immediately! If you’ve noticed your dog exhibiting any of the symptoms we mentioned above, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Dispose of any bags you have purchased or return them to the retailer for a full refund. You can also get a full refund of the purchase price by contacting Sunshine Mills directly. The FDA also recommends reporting report suspected illnesses to them electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. “It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report,” the FDA said on its website. For additional information, you can contact the company’s customer service department at (800) 705-2111 from 7AM to 4PM Central Time, Monday through Friday, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a retailer, the FDA recommends that you stop selling these foods and contact the manufacturer for further instructions. And, if you have the means to do so, contact any customers who have purchased the recalled products. You can use shoppers’ card records or point-of-sale signs to find customer contact information.
If you are a veterinarian, the FDA encourages you to ask your clients for your pet’s diet history, including whether the dog has been eating any of the recalled products. They are also encouraging you to submit case reports to them electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
One, this recall follows prior recalls of other brands of dry dog food manufactured by Sunshine Mills.
And, two, since the Sunshine Mills recall, there have been other recalls issued by three different pet food companies. ANF, Elm Pet Foods and Columbia River Natural Pet Foods have all issued recalls, two of which were due to possible elevated levels of Vitamin D.
ANF issued a recall of its 3kg and 7.5kg bags of Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D on November 28, just one day after the Sunshine Mills recall. The products were distributed in retail stores in Puerto Rico.
Elm Pet Foods, which uses Sunshine Mills’ facilities, issued a recall of its 3lb. bag of Elm Chicken and Chickpea Recipe, 28lb. bag Elm Chicken and Chickpea Recipe and 40lb. bag of Elm K9 Naturals Chicken Recipe on November 29. This recall was also due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. The products were distributed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.
On December 5, Columbia River Natural Pet Foods issued a voluntary recall of 933 packages of Cow Pie fresh frozen meats for dogs and cats because they could potentially be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The packages of Cow Pie fresh frozen meats were produced in August 2017. The products were distributed in Alaska, Oregon and Washington through retail stores and direct delivery. NOTE: Listeria monocytogenes can be pathogenic to humans; therefore, there is a risk to humans from handling the contaminated products, especially if they have not washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to the product. No illnesses have been reported as of yet.
For more information on these and other pet food recalls, including UPC codes, “best buy” dates and refunds, visit the FDA’s Animal & Veterinary recalls and withdrawals website.
Is the FDA Addressing the Situation?
Since these products were recalled in cooperation with the FDA, the agency is taking various steps to address the situation. Here’s what the agency had to say on its website:
“After receiving complaints from pet owners about dogs with vitamin D toxicity, one of the firms reported to the FDA that it was recalling dry pet food due to potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. Many other brands with a common contract manufacturer have also been recalled. The FDA is working with the contract manufacturer to provide a comprehensive list of affected brands. FDA scientists are still analyzing reports and the information currently available to determine whether the illnesses are definitively connected to diet. FDA scientists have evaluated samples of some of these products, and State and private lab test results indicate that the food contained as much as approximately 70 times the intended amount of vitamin D.”
The FDA will update its website with additional information as it becomes available.
No other Evolve®, Sportsman’s Pride® or Triumph® products were affected by the recall, but you may want to hold off feeding your dog(s) these foods until further notice.