Salmonella and Pet Food
On July 29th, Nestle Purina recalled a limited number of Purina One Vibrant Maturity DRY cat food bags due to a potential salmonella contamination. Now this got me thinking…for some reason, many veterinarians are concerned with consumers feeding their pets raw food, with the theory that the chances of coming in contact with salmonella is a lot higher in raw food than dry food. However, with just looking back over the recalls from 2010 – 2011, this logic seems to be significantly flawed.
From what I have been able to gather on-line, there appears to have been 13 recalls in the past year and a half for pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella. 10 out of the 13 recalls were from DRY pet foods and treats, and only 3 were from raw pet foods. These numbers also do not include the several other DRY pet foods that were recalled for mold (Wysong), plastic hat pieces in the bags (Nutro), Vitamin D Overdose (Blue Buffalo), Aflatoxin (Old Yeller, Kroger), and Low Thiamine levels (Wellness). It seems to me that there is a significant higher danger of your pets coming into contact with not only salmonella, but other much more serious recall issues from DRY pet foods than they ever would if they were eating a raw food diet. Below is the list of pet foods recalled for salmonella in the past year and a half.
1. Hartz Naturals Reel Beef Treats
2. Merrick Dog Food – Beef Filet Squares & Texas Hold’ems
3. P&G – Iams and Eukanuba Specialized and “Veterinary Formula” Dry Dog Food Recalls (Also Included Eukanuba Naturally Wild, Pure, and Custom Care Sensitive Skin)
4. United Pet Group – Pro-Pet Adult daily Vitamin Supplement for Dogs
5. Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. – Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food
6. Rollover Premium Pet Food Ltd. (Canada) – Pork Tenders Premium Dog Treats
7. Nature’s Variety – Raw Frozen Chicken Diets
8. Merrick Pet Care – Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats
9. Primal Pet Foods – Raw Chicken & Salmon Cat Food
10. Merrick Pet Care – Jr. Taffy Pet Treat
11. Several Pig Ear Companies (Merrick, Bravo, Boss Pet)
12. Purine One Vibrant Maturity Cat Food
13. Feline’s Pride – Natural Raw Chicken Cat Food
I would like to point out that the chances of a healthy dog or cat showing symptoms of salmonella poisoning is rare. Healthy dogs and cats have a very acidic stomach which generally destroys all pathogens. I found a great article by Dr. Karen Becker that discusses the truth about salmonella and raw feeding. She also discusses how to keep your family safe from salmonella infection. I encourage everyone to read this article, since as I have pointed out; salmonella contamination is not just localized to raw food (and is in fact more common in dry pet food).