The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has a published a report that provides pet owners with tips on how to avoid salmonella infections. It follows a string of pet product recalls, mainly for pig ears, that were prompted by salmonella concerns.
The report, written by Kate KuKanich, DVM, recommends pet owners avoid raw pet food diets, purchase individually packaged pig ears (as opposed to buying the ears in bulk bins) and check pet food packaging to ensure it is in good condition prior to purchase. Other recommendations include:
• Storing pet foods, treats, and nutritional products in accordance with label instructions, preferably in a cool, dry environment.
• Saving the original pet food packaging material, including the date code and product code of all food products, for product identification in case of food contamination.
• Discouraging children, the elderly, and immunosuppressed people from handling pet food and treats.
• Washing hands with soap and water before and after handling pet food, treats, and nutritional products.
• Using a clean scoop to dispense pet food into bowls.
• Washing water and food bowls used by pets, as well as feeding scoops, routinely with hot soapy water in a sink other than in the kitchen or bathroom.
• Avoiding feeding pets in the kitchen.
The report also details circumstances under which salmonella organisms are most often ingested and includes a history of salmonella outbreaks associated with pet food and treats.
In May, at least four companies—Bravo, Blackman Industries Inc., Keys Manufacturing Co. Inc. and Boss Pet Products Inc.—recalled pig ear pet treats because the treats had the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. One pet food company, Primal Pet Foods, issued a limited recall of its chicken and salmon raw cat food formula for the same reason.