“How can raw pet food be considered “dangerous” and a “public health risk” when raw chicken (sold in your grocery store) poses a significantly higher risk?”
- About 18 percent of chicken and 15 percent of ground turkey contain salmonella. And because it’s a non-adulterant, the USDA will only recall contaminated meat after people get sick.
- Salmonella % allowed by USDA in ground chicken = 25%
- In a 2 year study 8% of raw pet food contained Salmonella
- The FDA has a stringent zero tolerance policy for bacteria in raw diets- which means that raw meat for commercial raw pet diets may be even safer than raw meat sold for human consumption
- The digestive tracts for dogs and cats are designed to handle raw meat because they evolved to hunt and eat small prey animals
- Salmonella can be found in one third of healthy dogs and about 20% of healthy cats regardless of the food they consume
- Many pets harvest these bacteria as a part of their normal GI function and naturally shed salmonella in feces and saliva.
- Both dry and raw food can harvest salmonella
- There have been far less recalls of raw food vs. dry food
- Not all raw food is created equal. There are some commercially available raw dog foods which may not source the freshest ingredients or may not follow strict safe food handling procedures.
It is important to make sure that you handle your pets raw meat in the same way you would handle raw meat for your dinner.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw meat
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces
- Freeze raw meat products until you are ready to use them and thaw them in the refrigerator
- Keep raw meat separate from fresh food