Bacteria is a threat to pet food as well as what you put on your family's table. A few helpful hints can keep your pet food safe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that humans can endanger themselves as well as their pets just by mishandling their food.
"Consumers can take steps to help prevent food borne illness, including Salmonella-related illness, when handling pet foods and treats."
According to the FDA, "Salmonella in pet foods and treats can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and in people too, especially children, older people, and those with compromised immune systems."
In other words, keep your pet food safe and it will end up helping the humans in your household as well.
- Don't buy cans or containers that are damaged or dented.
- Wash your hands before handling pet food. Twenty seconds under hot water with soap is recommended.
- Clean the pet food bowl after each meal and wash the water bowl no less than once every other day.
- Wet pet food leftovers must be promptly refrigerated or disposed of.
- Dry food should never be kept in a storage place that gets beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If pet food is spoiled, dispose of it in a sealed bag or container.
- Keep your pets away from food storage areas and trash containers
The Animal Health Literacy Campaign of the Center for Veterinary Medicine chimes in about keeping pet food bowls clean .
"Animals have bacterial microbes in their mouths and these microbes can be transferred to dishes the pet eats and drinks from. Food left in the dishes can provide the microbes with a good environment for multiplying (moisture, oxygen and nutrients) and can produce illness in people who touch the dish, or the pet that eats or drinks from the bowl or dish."
In 2012 cat and dog food manufactured at a Diamond Pet Foods facility in South Carolina was recalled after it was found to be contaminated with Salmonella Infantis.
Dozens of people fell ill in both the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that once humans came into contact with the tainted pet food, they fell ill with many hospitalized as a result.
For more information about pet food safety, check out FDA website under the Consumer Updates section.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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