Is A Raw Food Diet Safe For Your Pet?

Food Safety News – The FDA is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pet’s certain Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food “as it poses a serious threat to consumer and animal health” because of Salmonella Infantis contamination.

The Salmonella was discovered in January when the FDA collected one retail sample of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Turkey Dinner Dog Food.

The Salmonella was also found to be resistant to multiple antibiotic drugs.

Salmonella in pet food is a threat to human and animal health because pets can get sick from this pathogen and can also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their owners without appearing to be ill. People can also get sick from handling the contaminated pet food, or touching surfaces that have had contact with the contaminated food.

The Product:

  • Aunt Jeni’s Home Made All-Natural Raw Turkey Dinner Dog Food, 5 lb. (2.3 kg), lot 175331 NOV2020.

Consumers who purchased the product are urged to not feed it to their pet, throw it away, and sanitize surfaces that may have come in contact with the product. If consumers have the product and cannot determine the lot code,  the FDA recommends that the product be thrown away.

Retailers, distributors and other operators who have sold the product should wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where the product was stored.

The FDA also suggests that, “Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.

“Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the affected product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.”

Consumers who think their pet has salmonellosis after consuming the pet food product should contact their veterinarian.

About Salmonella infections

Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.

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Raw Dog Food: Dietary Concerns, Benefits, and Risks

Are raw food diets for dogs an ideal meal plan or a dangerous fad? Experts weigh in.

WEBMD – Raw dog food diets are controversial. But the popularity of the diets — which emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables — is rising.

Racing greyhounds and sled dogs have long eaten raw food diets. Extending those feeding practices to the family pet is a more recent idea, proposed in 1993 by Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst. He called his feeding suggestions the BARF diet, an acronym that stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Billinghurst suggested that adult dogs would thrive on an evolutionary diet based on what canines ate before they became domesticated: Raw, meaty bones and vegetable scraps. Grain-based commercial pet foods, he contended, were harmful to a dog’s health.

Many mainstream veterinarians disagree, as does the FDA. The risks of raw diets have been documented in several studies published in veterinary journals.

Potential benefits of the raw dog food diet that supporters tout include:

  • Shinier coats
  • Healthier skin
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Higher energy levels
  • Smaller stools

Potential risks include:

  • Threats to human and dog health from bacteria in raw meat
  • An unbalanced diet that may damage the health of dogs if given for an extended period
  • Potential for whole bones to choke an animal, break teeth or cause an internal puncture

Since Billinghurst’s book, Give Your Dog a Bone, was published, several other types of raw dog food diets have emerged, including commercially processed raw food diets that are frozen or freeze-dried and combination diets that use blends of grains, vegetables, and vitamins that are mixed with raw meat purchased by the owner at the grocery store.

Raw dog food recipes and meal suggestions are readily found online and in books … Read more. 

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