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: 8.89). 04/2006; 42(5):686-91. DOI: 10.1086/500211
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Rita Finley
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    • "In 2012, there was an outbreak of human Salmonella enterica serotype Infantis infections related to exposure to dry dog food (CDC, 2012; Imanishi et al., 2014). With the dog and cat population in the United States estimated at 65 million and 78 million animals, respectively, according to the 2002 American Pet Product Manufacturers Association National Pet Survey (Finley et al., 2006), a significant human population is exposed to pet food and treats. Surveys, between 2002 and 2009, for the presence of Salmonella in animal feeds, feed ingredients, pet foods, treats, and supplements showed that Salmonella prevalence decreased (especially in feed ingredients and pet foods and treats); however, outbreaks continue (Li et al., 2012). "
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    • "Humans becoming infected with Salmonella through contact with pet foods and pet treats has become an increasing concern because household pets are extremely common in the United States. In 2002, it was estimated that 39% of households had a dog and 34% had a cat (Finley et al., 2006). The FDA has termed this direct route of exposure from handling animal feeds, pet foods, and pet treats as exposure from ''Direct-Human-Contact Feeds.'' "
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents the surveillance data from the Feed Contaminants Program (2002-2009) and Salmonella Assignment (2007-2009) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which monitor the trend of Salmonella contamination in animal feeds. A total of 2,058 samples were collected from complete animal feeds, feed ingredients, pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets in 2002-2009. These samples were tested for the presence of Salmonella. Those that were positive for Salmonella underwent serotyping and testing for antimicrobial susceptibility. Of the 2,058 samples, 257 were positive for Salmonella (12.5%). The results indicate a significant overall Salmonella reduction (p≤0.05) in animal feeds from 18.2% (187 samples tested) in 2002 to 8.0% (584 samples tested) in 2009. Among these samples, feed ingredients and pet foods/treats had the most significant reduction (p≤0.05). Of the 45 Salmonella serotypes identified, Salmonella Senftenberg and Salmonella Montevideo were the top two common serotypes (8.9%). Of the 257 Salmonella isolates obtained, 54 isolates (21%) were resistant to at least one antimicrobial. The findings provide the animal feed industries with Salmonella prevalence information that can be used to address Salmonella contamination problems. Our findings can also be used to educate pet owners when handling pet foods and treats at home to prevent salmonellosis.
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    • "As the raw diet fed dogs represent such a large portion of the Salmonella positive dogs, this may account for the sparing effect. In addition, recent research suggests that contamination of rawhide and pig ear treats is decreasing, due to changes in the industry after the previously mentioned Salmonella outbreaks (Finley et al., 2006; Chiewchan et al., 2007), therefore, this could be one reason for the negative association between rawhide chews and Salmonella. The results concerning probiotics used in the previous 30 days are also unexpected, considering the expected function of probiotics. "
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