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Author Topic: FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treat  (Read 23709 times)
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It's Minnie!

« on: September 19, 2007, 01:18:56 PM »

Here are some tips...

Also, anyone involved in Raw feeding...anything to add?

FDA Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illness Associated with Pet Food and Pet Treats

FDA is informing consumers of steps they can take to help prevent foodborne illness, including Salmonella-related illness, when handling pet foods and treats.  Pet food and treats, like many other types of foods, can be susceptible to harmful bacterial contamination.  During calendar year 2007, 15 pet products have been recalled due to Salmonella contamination; however, to date none of these products have been directly linked to human illness.

Salmonella in pet foods and treats can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination, in people too, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems.  Salmonella in pet food and treats can potentially be transferred to people ingesting or handling contaminated pet food and treats.

While the FDA has stepped up its efforts to minimize the incidence of foodborne illness associated with pet foods and treats, itís important that consumers be mindful of the potential risks.  Pet owners and consumers can reduce the likelihood of infection from contaminated pet foods and treats by following some simple, safe handling instructions.   

Buying Tips for Pet Food

Purchase products (canned or bagged) that are in good condition. No visible signs of damage to the packaging such as dents, tears, discolorations, etc.
 Preparation Tips for Pet Food

Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap before and after handling pet foods and treats.
Wash pet food bowls, dishes and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use.
Do not use the petís feeding bowl as a scooping utensil Ė use a clean, dedicated scoop, spoon or cup instead. 
Dispose of old or spoiled pet food products in a safe manner (example: in a securely tied plastic bag in a covered trash receptacle).
Storage Tips for Pet Food

Refrigerate promptly or discard any unused, left-over wet pet food (cans, pouches, etc.).  Refrigerating foods quickly keeps most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying.  Refrigerators should be set at 40 ļ F.  The accuracy of the setting should be checked occasionally with a refrigerator thermometer.
Dry products should be stored in a cool, dry place--under 80ļ F.
If possible, store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed.
Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas.
Keep pets away from garbage and household trash.
Raw Food Diets

The FDA does not advocate a raw meat, poultry or seafood diet for pets, but is stepping up its efforts to minimize the risk such foods pose to animal and human health because we understand that some people prefer to feed these types of diets to their pets.  For the protection of both you and your pet, the FDA recommends you follow these instructions when handling or using raw meat, poultry or seafood, for use in a petís diet:

Keep raw meat and poultry products frozen until ready to use.
Thaw in refrigerator or microwave.
Keep raw food diets separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils (including cutting boards, preparation and feeding bowls), hands, and any other items that touch or contact raw meat, poultry or seafood with hot soapy water.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard safely.
In addition:

For added protection, kitchen sanitizers should be used on cutting boards and counter tops periodically.  A sanitizing solution can be made by mixing one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water.
If you use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards, run them through the dishwasher after each use.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 01:21:20 PM by Dave » Logged

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*The Enabler*

« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 01:54:44 PM »

Dog Addict!
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 01:31:06 AM »

Very good things to remember. Thanks Dave.

The suggestions are pretty standard for any food industry (cafe, restaurant, butcher shop). I usually tell people to work with their pets' raw food just like they would human food....don't abuse temps and times, etc. For people like me who work around food all day we forget that a lot of folks in the public don't really think about this stuff. I would recommend keeping the frig to around 33-34 degrees. 40 is too warm in my opinion.

Bacteria are present in everything. Salmonella is very common and we are exposed to it daily. Having a bummed immune system or being exposed to a very large colony of the bacteria is what causes problems for people. A dog can easily handle most bacteria in the food and at levels that would make a human really sick--they are designed for it. When it comes to my Cairns' food, I am religious about giving it a good washing. Bacteria can only live on the surface. And the best thing you can do is make sure you use lots of hot soapy water during clean up.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.-Antone France
Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.-Pythagoras
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