You may be considering a raw food diet for your pets because you have heard that it is healthier. But raw food diets can make you and your pet sick. Germs like Salmonella and Listeria bacteria have been found in raw pet foods, even packaged ones sold in stores. These germs can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.
Many people don’t realize that the basic principles of food safety apply to their pets’ foods too. For example, pet food or treats contaminated with Salmonella can cause infections in dogs and cats. And contaminated pet food that is not handled properly can cause serious illness in people too, especially children.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates that can of cat food, bag of dog food, or box of dog treats or snacks in your pantry. The FDA’s regulation of pet food is similar to that for other animal foods. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms.