Five recalls in twelve months: Sunshine Mills, Inc. has one report of illness believed to be linked to recalled dog food, FDA says
We still have received only one report (8/2/21, after the recall was announced). This was an illness report and the dog is reported to have recovered. FDA has not yet determined whether the symptoms were caused by the food or another trigger. I’m afraid I can’t provide location information.
Sunshine Mills, Inc. has continued to decline requests to comment when asked if the company is aware of this report or about any additional details. VP of Marketing Ryan Brown did take questions from TCR Sunday evening, asserting that there had been no reports of illnesses or deaths. We have not heard back from him since the story was updated.
TCR has also been pressing the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine for clarity about the circumstances under which CVM has ordered businesses to stop operating permanently or temporarily in the past ten years to understand the department’s range of enforcement tools as well as how these tools are used, how often, and the circumstances under which they are used.
If “aflatoxin” sounds familiar, it should. This winter, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. issued a series of recalls of dog and cat foods for aflatoxin contamination. The Midwestern Pet Foods aflatoxin recall of 2021, in fact, was the single deadliest pet food aflatoxin recall in history, surpassing even the 2005-2006 Diamond Pet Foods aflatoxin recall in a matter of days, at more than 110 dog deaths as of mid-January by the FDA’s count.
Following are some of the documents obtained by The Canine Review through Freedom of Information Act requests from the Food and Drug Administration
- On July 29, 2021, Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalled several brands of dog food for possible aflatoxin contamination.
- In June 2021, Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalled several brands of dog food for possible salmonella contamination.
- In October 2020, Sunshine expanded the September recall to 23 dog foods and two cat foods.
- On September 2, Sunshine issued another recall. The reason for the September 2 recall, according to the company announcement, was excessive levels of Aflatoxin, a mold by-product, detected in “routine” sample testing.
- On August 24, Sunshine Mills recalled its Nature’s Menu Super Premium Dog Food with a Blend of Real Chicken & Quail for possible Salmonella contamination.
- On June 5, 2019, the FDA issued Sunshine a Warning Letter following findings from 2018-2019 involving vitamin D contamination recalls
- In December 2018, FDA alerted consumers to multiple dry dog food recalls manufactured by Sunshine Mills. This recall was due to toxic vitamin D levels
- “According to FDA, Sunshine did not follow its own written procedures for receiving ingredients. The company neither obtained a Certificate of Analysis for the ingredient, nor conducted its own testing to determine whether the Vitamin D it received was the correct concentration for use in dog food. The error resulted in a level of Vitamin D in the finished dog foods of as much as 70 times the target amount. Sunshine was notified on October 23, 2018 about a consumer complaint reporting an ill dog that had eaten one of the company’s dry dog foods. Sunshine investigated the complaint and concluded on November 2nd that it was valid. FDA requires validated complaints to be reported within 24 hours; however, Sunshine did not submit a ‘reportable food report to FDA until six days later, on November 8, 2018. Although the sources of elevated vitamin D were different in these two situations, the course of events was similar.” [Food Safety News]