Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners
Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners
Scientists criticise trend for raw meat pet food after analysis finds pathogens
13 January, 2018, 03:47
Researchers based in the Netherlands say raw meat based-diets (RMBDs) may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, which can pose a risk to both animal and human health. They found that 23% of the products contained a specific type of E coli that can cause renal failure in humans and 80% had antibiotic-resistant E coli.
As such, researchers said that the bacteria and parasitic pathogens found in the foods may be a possible source of infection in pets and, if transmitted, pose a risk for human beings too.
"It has been claimed that feeding pets raw meat results in a better overall condition of the animals and could have a supportive role in controlling and preventing certain medical conditions in both dogs and cats such as allergies, skin and gastrointestinal tract problems", said lead researcher Paul Overgaauw, from Utrecht University.
By feeding this diet to pets, owners are not only risking the health of the animals but also their own health.
It is reported that humans could encounter bacteria from raw foods in several ways, including direct with the food or with an infected pet; through with contaminated household surfaces; or by eating cross-contaminated human food. But even a little meat can be harmful to pets if it's still raw and not heated, Overgaauw says. The foods contained raw meat, bones, and animal by-products from beef, duck, chicken, lamb, and horse, along with additional ingredients.
The increasingly popular practice of feeding dogs and cats raw meat may be risky for both the pets and their owners, according to a new study. The study also stressed that there is no difference in the possible danger between packaged, frozen meats and raw food prepared at home.
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The researchers found that 43% of the products (15 packs from eight brands) contained species of listeria, which causes extremely invasive illnesses.
"Feeding of freshly prepared, non-frozen raw meat based-diets to companion animals cannot only result in infection and disease in the animals, but also poses a risk to public health and livestock farming through shedding of pathogens into the environment", the researchers conclude.
Others argue that it's more natural for a carnivorous species to eat raw meat products.
"We have known that there are risks associated with raw meat feed diets since the early 2000s, but this is the first [research] in Europe that has gone as far as to check commercially available frozen raw meat diets", he said.
Pet owners who are interested in raw meat-based diets should talk to a professional rather than feeding their pets uncooked meat. They should be educated about proper handling of the products and personal hygiene measures, and the products should include warnings and handling instructions, the investigators said. "They think they are feeding dogs how they would eat in nature, like a wolf".
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