Wash After Handling Pet Food

Unfortunately, pet food can be contaminated with a variety of pathogens including salmonella and E. coli.  Dry and canned food, treats and supplements formulated for animals may all be contaminated just like food produced for human consumption.  Feeding raw diets to dogs, cats and ferrets are especially dangerous because freezing and/or refrigeration does not kill bacteria or parasites. 

As reported in the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 2, 2011, “the Food and Drug Administration has begun a nationwide effort to test pet food for salmonella contamination amid evidence that it is sickening pet owners. FDA investigators started taking samples in October of dry pet food, pet treats and diet supplements from distributors and wholesalers. . . .”

Therefore, please handle all animal food with care.  Wash well after feeding your pet.  Keep children and immunosuppressed individuals away from pet food, bowls and utensils.  Wash pet food and water bowls regularly to protect all the members of your family.  Also, make sure any human products used on animals are not under a recall.  Remember the Peter Pan peanut butter recall?  I used a teaspoon of Peter Pan to give my dog, Susie, her medicine.  Unfortunately, I bought a recalled jar and Susie got diarrhea.  It was off the market for some time before returning to store shelves after they had resolved the issue.   

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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