Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Raw meat is unsafe for pets and their owners, study finds

Raw Meat Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners - new study
Ben Pena | 13 January, 2018, 07:09

Despite the relatively low number of products tested in the study, the authors say it's clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens, which can pose a risk to pets and to their owners.

We know you probably think you're doing a lovely thing for your cat or dog by giving them fresh, uncooked meat (that's what they'd eat in the wild, right?), but it turns out that a raw food diet really isn't the best option for your pets.

A raw meat-based diet (RMBD), also known as Bones and Raw Food (BARF), contains a number of parasites and bacteria that could be passed on to humans, say researchers from the Institute of Risk Assessment at Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

They found E. coliin 86 percent of the products, while 54 percent included L. monocytogenes and 20 percent held Salmonella. Humans can get sick from bacteria and parasites lurking in raw-meat products, too.

In addition, four products (11 per cent) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. But when we feed our pets raw meat, that bacteria thrives.

Fifteen products contained species from the nasty Listeria genus, eight products had Escherichia coli, and seven products contained at least one Salmonella species.

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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.

Studies have also shown that cats and dogs who eat raw-meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those on conventional diets of dry or canned food, the authors add. The meat carries bacteria that can be unsafe to both animals and humans.

The team said the bugs risked the health of the animals themselves, as well as their owners. Earlier analyses on raw pet food in the United States also found similar levels of contamination.

In general, the microbial evidence that the researchers gathered from their samples fell within acceptable limits for commercially produced pet products in the Netherlands. "I think that in the USA especially, owners are much more liking the convenience, and buy these products instead of preparing raw food on their own".

Feeding your pet a raw meat could harm their health and yours, a new study warns.

"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.

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