January 29, 2018 — Raw meat pet food is more popular than ever, but a new study is warning that it may be dangerous for both people and animals.
There is a growing trend of pet owners buying commercially-packaged raw meat pet food, avoiding traditional dry or canned pet food products that are often processed and contain artificial additives.
But according to scientists in the Netherlands, a raw meat-based diet for dogs and cats increases the risk of infection from Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and parasites like toxoplasma.
Pets can get sick from eating raw meat that is contaminated with bacteria or parasites — but people are also at risk of getting sick. also get sick.
According to Paul Overgaauw of the Division of Veterinary Public Health at Utrecht University:
This can be through direct contact with the food; through contact with a contaminated pet, such as sharing the same bed and allowing licking of the face and hands; through contact with household surfaces; or by ingesting cross-contaminated human food.”
The study was published in Vet Record and analyzed 35 commercial frozen raw meat pet foods from 8 different brand-names.
The researchers found that 8 products contained E. coli, 15 contained Listeria, and 7 contained Salmonella.
Furthermore, 4 tested positive for the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and 4 others tested positive for Sarcocystis tenella. Both of these parasites can cause nausea, stomach ache, or diarrhea.
Two products contained the parasite that causes a common infection called toxoplasmosis. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women.