Bacteria Fears Real or Exaggerated

From Dr. Karen Shaw Becker DVM

“When I attended the July 2015 AAFCO meeting, the head of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine openly told the group they would be focusing on testing raw foods in the upcoming years.

Interestingly, their decision to target raw foods wasn’t due to customer complaints or ill dogs, and it wasn’t due to a massive recall or discovery of contaminants (such as pentobarbital). In my opinion, it was an offensive strategy to pursue this fast growing segment of the industry to try to find a problem to highlight, to cast doubt and generate fear.

Unless kibble manufacturers begin producing raw foods to compete in the marketplace (which means acknowledging their dry food products are not biologically correct), their only option is to attempt to affect sales of competing food categories by creating consumer doubt or trust issues.

Thanks to the constant hectoring about the dangers of salmonella in raw pet food when in fact, the problem has historically been much more prevalent in processed foods, many pet parents remain concerned about feeding raw foods specifically because raw meat can contain salmonella bacteria.

The fact is that salmonella can be found in up to 36 percent of all healthy dogs and 18 percent of healthy cats regardless of the food they consume. Many pets harbor these bacteria as a part of their normal gastrointestinal (GI) flora and naturally shed salmonella organisms in feces and saliva regardless of what food they eat.”