Study links dry pet food to human disease

Study links dry pet food to human disease

Salmonella contamination may be the culprit in severe 2006 and 2008 outbreaks, especially affecting small children.
Aug 18, 2010
By staff

If you handle dry pet food—and chances are, you do—a veterinary epidemiologist urges you to wash your hands afterward and regularly disinfect pet food bowls and eating areas. That food may carry Salmonella and may be responsible for human salmonellosis outbreaks, according to a recent report published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its analysis of a salmonellosis outbreak in 2006 and 2008 that was likely caused by contaminated dry pet food. Especially at risk are young children, who may play with the pet food and put their hands or the food itself in their mouths.

The report comes in the wake of a number of voluntary pet food recalls involving Salmonella contamination in the past few months. The Food and Drug Administration has been randomly sampling pet food for contamination with the bacterium.

Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC veterinary epidemiologist, says food bowls should be cleaned outdoors rather than in sinks used for hand-washing or food preparation.

Consider adding this extra layer of cleanliness at your veterinary clinic to protect yourself, your team members, and your clients from this latest human illness risk.