Pet food safety

Handling pet food properly is key to keeping you and your pet safe from foodborne illness.

Have you ever considered food safety for pets? It’s a topic that isn’t talked about much but is a very real issue. Pets can become ill just like people and are just as susceptible to foodborne illness. It is also important to wash our hands after feeding our pets or giving them a treat because they can make people sick too.

Salmonella could be lurking on your pet foods, making them ill or giving them an infection. Not only is that an issue for your pet, but you could also contract the same infection. Older adults, young children and anyone with a compromised immune system has the potential to become affected if proper care isn’t given to proper handling of pet food.

Proper hand washing should take place before and after handling pet food. You might be wondering why before but you may have just handled something that contains listeria and then you transfer that to your pet as you handle their food. Wash your hands before and after by using warm, running water and lathering part way up your arm. The process should take 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Also wash your hands after petting or touching your dog, after providing care and cleaning up after your pet.

Refrigerate canned or moist pet food at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to keep the food from spoiling with a well-marked label. Do not purchase pet foods that appear to have damage to the package or can. Wash pet bowls with soap and warm running water so germs are not able to continually grow between feedings.

So think often of your pet’s food safety. Michigan State University Extension recommends washing your hands before preparing food for your pet. Healthy pets make happy pets and pet owners. 

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