Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners

Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners

Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners

To make things even more appetising, eight products contained a type of Sarcocystis parasite, and two had the mind-altering cat nasty, Toxoplasma gondii.

"We see that more and more people are feeding [cats and dogs] this kind of product and we know that meat is infected with bacteria and parasites", said Paul Overgaauw, co-author of the new research from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Within a brand new study of 35 firm raw dog and cat food items, researchers found that 86 percent of services and products contained potentially harmful germs.

Raw meat diets for pets have become increasingly popular, but there is no evidence that they are healthier than typical pet foods, the researchers said.

RMBDs include raw dried dog and cat treats such as pig ears, home-prepared meats based from food sold for human consumption and commercial raw meats marketed for pets.

"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. In a new analysis of 35 commercial raw dog and cat foods, researchers found that 86% of products contained potentially unsafe bacteria. Humans can get sick from bacteria and parasites lurking in raw-meat products, too. Most reports of ailments being sent from pets to owners have been more rigorous, says Overgaauw.

"This is in contrast with dry, semi-moist and canned pet food, which is rarely contaminated with pathogens", the research team wrote.

Among the ideas fuelling the movement is that these diets are more "natural" for pets, avoid problems of additives or contamination in processed food, and can help to tackle issues like skin problems and allergies.

Pet owners and other household members can come into contact with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in several ways, including direct contact with the food or with an infected pet, through contact with contaminated household surfaces, or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

"It is important to encourage awareness of the possible risks associated with feeding RMBDs to companion animals, and pet owners should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs", said the paper.

A growing trend has seen pet owners plump for products such as meat, bones and organs which can be bought frozen and then thawed before being fed to dogs and cats.

"T$3 he claimed health benefits attributed to the feeding of raw meat-based diets are mostly anecdotal, and no studies have produced results in support of these statements", the team writes in the study.

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