The maker of three brands of dog food issued a recall due to high levels of a mold by-product found in food.

The FDA said the food contains potentially dangerous levels of Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a by-product of the Aspergillus flavus mold.  Experts said Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus. Aflatoxin poisoning can cause liver failure and other issues in animals.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry first detected the problem during a routine sampling of dog food. So far, no one had reported any cases of Aflatoxin poisoning from this food. But there have been other deadly outbreaks.

Back in 2006, over 100 dogs died in an outbreak. The issue went undetected for months until scientists at Cornell University were able to link the deaths to tainted dog food.


Both dogs and cats are affected by Aflatoxin. Symptoms of poisoning include:

  • vomiting
  • bloody diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • seizures
  • jaundice
  • loss of appetite

There’s no one cure for the problem. Veterinarians treat the various symptoms.

The problem dog food was manufactured by Sunshine Mills. The products were sold all over the country under three different brand names. Sunshine Mills said it contacted retailers and had them pull the products from their shelves.  Here’s a list of the affected brands along with pictures of the bags.

  • Family Pet Meaty Cuts Premium Dog Food – Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavors –  4, 14, and 18 lb bags – UPC codes 3225120694, 3225118078, 3225120694.
  • Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites – Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavor – 14 & 31 lb bags – UPC codes 7015514299 and 7015514301.
  • Paws Happy Life Butchers Choice Dog Food – 16 lb bag – 3680035763

If you used this product, stop using it immediately.  You can return any unused portion to the store where you bought it for a full refund.  Here’s what the bags for the affected products look like:

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. Customer Service at (800) 705-2111 from 7 AM to 4 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday, or by email at for additional information.