It’s not cute: Salmonella risks to babies through pet food

Anyone who has pets and babies knows that when they learn to crawl – the human babies – they head straight for the dish of pet food on the floor. bubblegum pop idiocy that is television’s Good Morning America, promoted a video this morning that’s making the rounds on youtube: and while the GMA hosts make a collective sigh of cuteness, I see microbiological risk.

There are regular outbreaks of Salmonella linked to pet food.

Dr. Kate KuKanich wrote a report for the June 1, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), laying out recommendations for pet owners on how to avoid Salmonella infection in pets:

• avoid raw food diets for pets;

• purchase individually packaged pig ears, rather than buying them from bulk bins;

• check the packaging of pet food products to ensure that they are in good condition prior to purchase;

• return products to the store if they appear tainted, discolored, or malodorous.;

• store pet foods, treats, and nutritional products in accordance with label instructions, preferably in a cool, dry environment.;

• save 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;

• discourage children, the elderly, and immunosuppressed people from handling pet food and treats;

• wash hands with soap and water before and after handling pet food, treats, and nutritional products;

• use a clean scoop to dispense pet food into bowls;

• wash 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; and,

• avoid feeding pets in the kitchen.