Human health implications of Salmonella-contaminated natural pet treats and raw pet food.

Foodborne, Waterborne, and Zoonotic Infections Division, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 9.42). 04/2006; 42(5):686-91. DOI: 10.1086/500211
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human salmonellosis occurs mainly as a result of handling or consuming contaminated food products, with a small percentage of cases being related to other, less well-defined exposures, such as contact with companion animals and natural pet treats. The increasing popularity of raw food diets for companion animals is another potential pet-associated source of Salmonella organisms; however, no confirmed cases of human salmonellosis have been associated with these diets. Pets that consume contaminated pet treats and raw food diets can be colonized with Salmonella organisms without exhibiting clinical signs, making them a possible hidden source of contamination in the household. Pet owners can reduce their risk of acquiring Salmonella organisms by not feeding natural pet treats and raw food diets to their pets, whereas individuals who investigate cases of salmonellosis or interpret surveillance data should be aware of these possible sources of Salmonella organisms.

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