Get the facts! raw pet food diets can be dangerous to you and your pet

In a two-year study spanning from October 2010 through July 2012, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) screened over 1,000 samples of pet food for bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. Homemade spaghetti with meatballs 1 (The illnesses are called “foodborne” because the bacteria are carried, or “borne,” in or on contaminated food.) The study showed that, compared to other types of pet food tested, raw pet food was more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. Simple homemade meatballs The Pet Food Study

Raw pet food was not included in the first year of the study. Easy homemade meatballs for spaghetti In the second year, CVM expanded the study to include 196 samples of commercially available raw dog and cat food. Recipe for homemade italian meatballs The center bought a variety of raw pet food online from different manufacturers and had the products shipped directly to six participating laboratories.

Making homemade meatballs 2 The raw pet food products were usually frozen in tube-like packages and made from ground meat or sausage.

The participating laboratories analyzed the raw pet food for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Best homemade italian meatballs recipe In past projects, CVM had monitored dog and cat food for the presence of Salmonella. The best homemade meatballs But before this study, the center “had not investigated the occurrence of Listeria in pet food,” said Renate Reimschuessel, a veterinarian at CVM’s Office of Research and one of the study’s principal investigators. Easy homemade italian meatballs Dr. How to make easy homemade meatballs Reimschuessel further noted that “quite a large percentage of the raw foods for pets we tested were positive for the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.” (Pathogens are disease-causing germs, like some bacteria. Recipe homemade meatballs Not all bacteria are harmful pathogens, though. How do i make homemade meatballs Some bacteria are helpful to people and animals, such as those that live in the intestines and contribute to a healthy gut.)

Of the 196 raw pet food samples analyzed, 15 were positive for Salmonella and 32 were positive for L. How long do you bake homemade meatballs monocytogenes (see Table 1).

Table 1: Number and type of pet food samples that tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (Years 1 & 2) Type of Pet Food Sample

* Non-cat and non-dog food, such as dry pellets for hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, amphibians, and birds.

† Included chicken jerky product, pig ears, and bully stick-type products.

‡ Typically packaged in pouches for retail sale, such as (1) pouched dog and cat food; and

(2) food treats shaped like bacon, fish, pork chops, and burgers.

§ Included pellet- or kibble-type food typically packaged in bags for retail sale.

Note: CVM did not collect or test canned and wet pet food samples in this study.

Based on the study’s results, CVM is concerned about the public health risk of raw pet food diets. Homemade meatballs in the oven As Dr. How to make homemade meatballs in the oven Reimschuessel explained, the study “identified a potential health risk for the pets eating the raw food, and for the owners handling the product.” Owners who feed their pet a raw diet may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Back to the top Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness from Raw Pet Food

Because raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the single best thing you can do to prevent infection is to not feed your pet a raw diet. How to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs However, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is aware that some people prefer to feed their pets this type of diet.

If you choose to feed raw pet food to your pet, be aware that you can infect yourself with Salmonella or L. How long to cook homemade meatballs monocytogenes by spreading the bacteria from the contaminated food to your mouth. Best homemade italian meatballs For instance, you may accidentally ingest the bacteria if you touch your mouth while preparing the raw food or after handling a contaminated utensil. Ingredients for homemade meatballs If you get Salmonella or L. How to make homemade meatballs easy monocytogenes on your hands or clothing, you can also spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.

Here are some tips to prevent infection with Salmonella and L. Best homemade meatballs for spaghetti monocytogenes:

• Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) after handling raw pet food, and after touching surfaces or objects that have come in contact with the raw food. How long to bake homemade meatballs Potential contaminated surfaces include countertops and the inside of refrigerators and microwaves. Homemade italian meatballs in oven Potential contaminated objects include kitchen utensils, feeding bowls, and cutting boards.

• Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects that come in contact with raw pet food. Quick homemade meatballs First wash with hot soapy water and then follow with a disinfectant. Best way to cook homemade meatballs A solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) water is an effective disinfectant. How to cook homemade meatballs in the oven For a larger supply of the disinfectant solution, add ? cup bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) water. How to bake homemade meatballs You can also run items through the dishwasher after each use to clean and disinfect them.

Cleaning removes germs (like bacteria) and dirt from surfaces and objects. Make homemade spaghetti meatballs Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs and dirt. How long to cook homemade meatballs in oven This process doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, cleaning lowers the number of germs and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces and objects. How do u make homemade meatballs Disinfecting works by using chemicals, such as bleach, to kill germs. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe This process doesn’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces and objects or remove germs, but by killing germs after cleaning, disinfecting can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Source: How to Clean and Disinfect Schools to Help Slow the Spread of Flu – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

• Freeze raw meat and poultry products until you are ready to use them, and thaw them in your refrigerator or microwave, not on your countertop or in your sink.

• Carefully handle raw and frozen meat and poultry products. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs Don’t rinse raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. How long do you cook homemade meatballs in the oven Bacteria in the raw juices can splash and spread to other food and surfaces.

• Immediately cover and refrigerate what your pet doesn’t eat, or throw the leftovers out safely.

• If you’re using raw ingredients to make your own cooked pet food, be sure to cook all food to a proper internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer. Homemade bread crumbs for meatballs Thorough cooking kills Salmonella, L. How long do you cook homemade meatballs monocytogenes, and other harmful foodborne bacteria.

• Don’t kiss your pet around its mouth, and don’t let your pet lick your face. Spaghetti and meatballs homemade This is especially important after your pet has just finished eating raw food.

• Thoroughly wash your hands after touching or being licked by your pet. Homemade italian meatballs for spaghetti If your pet gives you a “kiss,” be sure to also wash your face.

No matter what type of pet food you feed your pet, you should always follow these safe handling instructions.

FDA has a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella in pet food, meaning the agency intends to take action against any commercially-made pet food found to be contaminated with the harmful bacteria.

Both cooked and raw pet food products are recalled for various reasons, including the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Homemade italian meatballs and sauce For a list of recalled pet food and the reason for the recall, please see CVM’s Recalls & Withdrawals Web page.

1 Nemser S, Reimschuessel, R. Homemade meatballs cooked in sauce Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Microbiology Cooperative Agreement Program (MCAP), FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Special Project: Pet food testing for selected microbial organisms. Simple homemade meatball recipe Final Report 2010-2012. Simple homemade meatballs for spaghetti The study was conducted by FDA CVM’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), in collaboration with FERN MCAP laboratories. The best homemade meatball recipe The journal citation is Nemser S, Doran T, et al. How to make homemade meatballs for subs Investigation of Listeria, Salmonella, and Toxigenic Escherichia coli in Various Pet Foods. How to make homemade meatballs and gravy Foodborne Pathog Dis 2014;11:706-709.

2 Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Michigan Department of Agriculture; Minnesota Department of Agriculture; North Carolina Department of Agriculture; Ohio Department of Agriculture; and Washington Department of Agriculture.

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