What’s So Bad About Bacteria? Raw Feeding: How To Handle Your Pet Food Safely
The B Word
With all the buzz around the benefits of feeding raw, what’s the blocker stopping you from getting started? The B word? In a world facing a global pandemic, where germs are the enemy, the question is… what is so bad about bacteria? What are the real risks with feeding raw?
Is it so bad that even the idea of touching the stuff makes your skin crawl? OK. So, it can be a little gross, and let’s face it… there aren’t many people that ‘like’ handling raw food!. However, knowing what a difference raw feeding makes to our pets means it’s 100% worth it. And from our perspective, all it takes, is showing you how to do it safely!
As the protectors of our pets, it’s only natural that we want to give them the safest, most beneficial food out there. Which is why we want to be super transparent about this topic, so you are as prepared and informed, as humanly possible.
In simple terms, there are both good and bad bacteria. Top Quality Dog Food highlights how grass-fed green tripe is packed with Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is a great source of the good intestinal bacteria that helps protect your pet’s digestive tract. Natural probiotics not only promote absorption/improve digestion, but also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. However, for this moment, we are curious about the bad stuff...
Pathogens (harmful bacteria) such Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli cause disease and illnesses, including food poisoning, when you consume or come into contact with them. Just as contaminated raw meat poses a risk to human consumption, improper handling of raw pet food can make people unwell too. These germs can also be transferred between animals and humans.it is vital to take the proper precautions when feeding our pets raw.
Let’s uncomplicate it. How can we make raw as safe as possible in your family home? Here are the things you need to know, to be bold with what you put in your pet’s bowl:
- Your Choice – Know your supplier and their standards. As the exclusive New England supplier for Top Quality Dog Food, we are proud of the fact we practice safe handling with all our raw products. Ingredients are sourced from USDA inspected farms, packaged in airtight containers and meat is frozen immediately to limit the chance of oxidation occurring, and to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Keep It Clean – According to Hartpury researchers, Coralie and Wright, stainless steel bowls harbour far less germs than other materials due to their antimicrobial properties. Regularly clean, disinfect and dedicate set bowls, serving utensils and surface areas for raw handling only. Dispose of any remaining food waste as soon as possible after mealtime. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, immediately after any contact with raw pet food. It’s the simple things we often miss, that matter most. For a comprehensive list of safe handling instructions, check out the FDA
- Cool Kids – Firstly, keep it out of reach of children. Young children (under 5), the elderly and immunocompromised individuals have been identified as those most at risk, by Michael San Filippo – American Veterinary Medical Association. Keep meals frozen until ready to use, and thaw slowly in fridge in a sealed airtight container (do not microwave). Once defrosted, do not keep refrigerated for more than 48 hours. If possible, the luxury of a second separate fridge/freezer can help to avoid contamination.
- Avoid Cross Contamination – From freezer space to countertops, create clear boundaries between what’s for people and what’s for your pets. It’s important to have designated preparation and storage zones. Raw food and treats should be kept, defrosted and made in an area away from human food. These so-called “cooties” tend to spread from contaminated food to your hands and mouth, without realising, while you prepare food. Doggy kisses can also be a common culprit!
Remember: Apply the same safety guidelines to preparing/handling raw food for your pet as you would for yourself.
The Real Risk
As pet parents, we risk everything by doing nothing, but by responsibly researching and taking all the necessary measures to give our fur babies the best – we create a safe, healthy environment for them to thrive in.
Playing it safe, has a whole new meaning: choosing raw, being aware and arming yourself with everything you need to prepare for the safest and healthiest journey possible.
For more information, check out our FAQs – or if you’d like to know more about how to get started with raw feeding click here.
My vet’s office recently put a blurb in our local paper about a study that showed the “dangers” of raw feeding. Where did this study come from – Purina, Hills. They sell Science Diet at their facility. I say if you can safely handle raw hamburger meat to make hamburgers or raw chicken to cook for human consumption, you can feed pets raw.
Am I the only person that cooks raw food in their kitchen? This topic cracks me up.