In addition to the unconditional love your dog or cat provides you everyday, they may also be responsible, indirectly, for giving you something that may not be so welcome, a deadly germ – Salmonella – simply by handling Fido’s or Fluffy’s dry pet food or treats. Don’t let it happen to you.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, has issued guidelines to minimize the risk of becoming sick when handling dry pet food or treats.
The CDC’s guidelines include:
- Don’t purchase canned or dry pet food in damaged packages
- Do wash your hands for a full 20 seconds with soap and water immediately after handling pet food and treats
- Do feed your pets away from the kitchen or dining areas of your home
- Don’t forget to wash your pet’s feeding and watering bowl often with soap and hot water, and don’t forget the serving utensil you use to scoop the food into the bowl
- Don’t use your pet’s feeding bowl as a scooping utensil – use a clean, dedicated scooper or cup
- Do store pet food and treats away from people food – in a cool, dry place under 80 degrees
- Do store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, plastic container with lid, if possible
- Don’t allow uneaten wet pet food to remain in feeding bowl – refrigerate or discard it – refrigeration will prevent the growth of most harmful bacteria
According to Grand Rapids’ Spectrum Health Hospitals, Salmonella enterocolitis is an infection in the lining of the small intestine caused by Salmonella bacteria. It is one of the most common types of food poisoning. Approximately 40,000 people develop Salmonella infection in the United States each year. For signs, symptoms, and treatment options provided by Spectrum Health Hospitals, click here.
To listen to a podcast on CDC’s guidelines, click here
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