How fashionable raw meat dog food could see pet owners risk dangerous bugs including E.coli and salmonella
- Raw dog food, usually made from offal, contains food poisoning bugs like E.coli
- A third of the samples tested contained E.coli and Clostridium perfringens
- People could become ill from handling food or from dogs licking their faces
- Experts advise that raw dog food is kept frozen until used and stored separately
The trend for raw meat dog food could be putting owners at risk of dangerous bugs, scientists warned yesterday.
The raw meat is said to be similar to a dog’s diet if they were in the wild, giving them fresher breath and a shinier coat.
But a study has found the food, made mainly from offal, uncooked meat and bones, contains food poisoning bugs, including E.coli and salmonella.
A study has found that raw dog food, made mainly from offal, uncooked meat and bones, contains food poisoning bugs, including E.coli and salmonella
Scientists say this may be harmful for the elderly, babies and people with poor immunity, who could become ill after handling raw food bowls or kitchen equipment or from dogs licking their faces.
The research looked at raw dog food made by ten manufacturers based in countries including Britain and Sweden.
A third of the 60 samples contained E.coli and almost a third had Clostridium perfringens, known to cause outbreaks of food poisoning. Salmonella was discovered in 7 per cent of samples.
Study authors, led by Dr Josefin Hellgren at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, said: ‘It is highly important to handle raw meat-based diets carefully and to maintain good hygiene, due to the potential risks these feeds pose to human and animal health.’
In 2017, Adele Waters, editor of the Veterinary Record, which published the findings, wrote that a ‘pro-raw’ movement had started among pet owners, who were typically well-educated, middle-class and part of the ‘country set’.
Experts advise that raw dog food is kept frozen until used, stored separately and handled with its own equipment. They warn that bacteria in the juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces.