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3:53 PM   December 19, 2014
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Food Safety and Vegetarian Pet Foods
With recent pet food safety issues looming on consumer’s minds, many are looking for perceived “safer” options. Experimentation with whole food, raw and vegetarian diets has become increasingly popular.

However, these diets and the creative marketing that surround them may give consumers a false sense of security about the safety of vegetable-based diets. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition lobbies tirelessly to educate consumers about the potential dangers presented by the vegetables that make their way to our tables.

Potential pathogenic organisms can just as easily be spread to humans and animals in the food chain by the fruits and vegetables we eat.

Particularly with respect to raw or undercooked vegetable juices and products, infections of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, E. coli, Norwalk Virus, Salmonella and Shigella are just as likely to inflict harm on our pets as are meat-based toxins.

Since many vegetables grow close to or beneath the ground, they often come in contact with many forms of bacteria and other substances that can cause illness. Just because a product appears more “natural” doesn’t mean it can’t still provoke a life threatening infection.

Cross-contamination from farm to food bowl is still a risk to pets. Make sure consumers are aware of the potential dangers involved in feeding a vegetarian diet. Ensuring they know the risks just makes good business sense.

Raw spouts, in fact, present significant risk of illness, according to the FDA. They advise consumers against ever consuming live, raw sprouts of any kind, for their potential to carry E. coli and Salmonella. The tiny bacteria often find their way through cracks in the shells of the seeds themselves and remain there after repeated washing and even cooking. <HOME>


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