Pet Food Salmonella Research: Owners also at Risk
As raw pet food has become increasingly popular with pet owners, the number of salmonella outbreaks has also increased. Because of this, researchers have formed a team to research the precise source of the salmonella outbreaks associated with raw pet food. Among the organizations involved in the research is a team from Texas A&M University.
While some in the pet food industry claim that raw pet food is more natural and more nutritious for dogs, cats and other domestic animals, the sheer number of raw pet food recalls over the past decade is being seen as a cause for concern. A recently released study by the Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demonstrated that about 7.6 percent of the raw pet food tested by researchers contained evidence of salmonella. As a result of that study, a number of pet owners are rethinking the raw food trend, and questioning the usability of that type of food.
Many food safety experts suggest that as much as 90 percent of the salmonella contamination in raw pet food is coming from the manufacturing process, but even they admit that’s just a guess. Therefore, in order to pinpoint the exact source of the salmonella contamination, this new research is being undertaken, using a $500,000 FDA research grant. The researchers come from Texas A&M, South Dakota State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Minnesota, as well as the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The project will seek to figure out whether or not proven testing that is commonly used to detect salmonella in human food can also be effective in testing for the bacteria in raw pet food as well.
The main purpose of the new study is not about pet health, it’s about human health. Humans usually handle the pet food, and are in close contact with their pets, which can often lead to large human salmonella outbreaks.
It is a good sign that both the FDA and the raw pet food industry seem to be taking this salmonella outbreak seriously, and that they seem to be focusing on the possibility of unsanitary manufacturing facilities. The study will run for five years, with the first year spent validating the tests, and subsequent years will be spent learning whether or not the test can apply to pet food and how the results can be used to locate and identify contaminated supplies.
All producers of food products must keep their manufacturing facilities clean and safe, even if their product is “only” pet food, and especially if what they’re manufacturing is made from raw food. If you or someone you love has become sickened by contaminated food, whether it’s through salmonella or another toxic bacteria, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as you can, in order to protect your rights.