Your pooch's trendy raw meat-based chow is full of bacteria

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The rise in pet owners feeding their pet pooches raw meat-based diets prompted Swiss researchers to test levels of potentially-harmful bacteria in commercial pet foods. They found almost three-quarters of samples did not meet EU standards for a group of common stomach bugs in pet food and nearly two-thirds of samples contained antibiotic-resistant bacteria — some of which held the potential to transmit diseases to humans. They say raw meat-based diets usually consist of the by-products of animals slaughtered for human consumption, but they don't contain preservatives or undergo pasteurisation.

Journal/conference: Royal Society Open Science

DOI: 10.1098/rsos.191170

Organisation/s: University of Zurich, Switzerland

Funder: This work was partly supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Division Communicable Diseases.

Media release

From: The Royal Society

Raw meat-based diets for companion animals: a potential source of transmission of pathogenic and antimicrobial resistant Enterobacteriaceae

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is becoming increasingly popular, but may constitute a risk due to contamination with harmful bacteria. Of 51 RMBD samples, 37 (73%) did not meet the hygiene standards laid down by EU regulations for raw meat intended for pet food production. Two (4%) were contaminated with Salmonella, which causes gastroenteritis and diarrhea in animals and humans. Thirty-two (63%) products contained bacteria that were resistant to multiple antibiotics, including some that are categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as critically important for human medicine. Increased awareness and good hygiene are essential when handling RMBDs.


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