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Raw food info

November 15th, 2005, 04:54 AM

Here's info on contamination levels in raw food (not looking to start a fight, just thought I'd share the info so people make an informed decision, whatever it may be...) :)

Raw food diets pose risk for pets and people: Advocates claim raw meat can prevent or cure chronic diseases such as arthritis
November 14, 2005
The Vancouver Sun
Dr. Moe Milstein, who runs the Blueridge-Cove Animal Hospital in North Vancouver, says that food fights are taken seriously in the pet industry.
On one side are the traditional pet food products—a meal in a bag or a can.
On the other are the raw food advocates who argue passionately about the benefits of feeding raw meat and bones to dogs and cats—benefits such as better skin and coat, elimination of mouth and body odor, and the vague, but ever-popular, enhanced immune function.
Advocates even claim that raw meat can prevent or cure chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes and the skin diseases that bedevil veterinarians. Recipes for home made raw diets abound on the Internet, and an increasing number of entrepreneurs are offering commercial versions.
Milstein says that regardless of the merits of these claims, a recent study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal has raised concern about the dangers of raw meat diets—danger not only for animals but for people as well.
The University of Guelph study found that every one of the commercial raw food diets they tested was contaminated with potentially disease-producing bacteria.
The researchers, Weese, Rousseau and Arroyo, tested 25 diets from eight different manufacturers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Every sample tested contained fecal coliform bacteria. The average level of contamination was 800 times higher than the maximum allowable level set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Sixty four per cent of the coliforms were E. coli.
The kind of meat in the diets did not seem to matter. Beef, chicken, and lamb were the most common meat source. Some were more exotic—quail, goose, buffalo, rabbit or venison—but all harbored potential pathogens.
In addition to the coliforms, they also found salmonella in 20 per cent of the diets. A number of other disease-producing bacteria were detected, including Clostridium difficile, the organism that was present in antibiotic-resistant outbreaks in Quebec hospitals earlier this year.
Although raw food advocates will argue that dogs and cats are resistant to these bacteria, there is no evidence to support this view. There is lots of evidence, however, that shows that dogs and cats do fall ill when they ingest contaminated food.
Milstein adds that people handling and preparing the food also come into contact with the potentially harmful bacteria. Most commercially available raw diets are sold as frozen portions. In the process of thawing, preparing and feeding, the raw food can contaminate hands, utensils, counters and food bowls.
Some animals can become carriers, shed the bacteria in their stool, and pass it on to other pets or people. An earlier Canadian study found that the salmonella present in raw pet food prepared by pet owners in their own kitchens showed up in the feces of their dogs.

November 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM
This is why I'm still reluctant to go raw. With small children, the possibility of risk is enough to not try it.

November 15th, 2005, 02:48 PM
I home cook but not raw her meat is cooked.

November 15th, 2005, 09:52 PM
Interesting info...thanks mesaana

November 15th, 2005, 11:53 PM
It makes sense when you think about it. They say that dogs don't get affected by the bacteria because their GI tracts are shorter and faster, but that means it comes out, still alive, in the feces, like mesaana's post says... So in the end, you have bacteria in your kitchen, bacteria where the dog eats, bacteria in his water bowl if he drinks during or right after eating, bacteria in your yard (and wherever your doggy might accidentally go too...)... It will be everywhere. I know bacteria is already everywhere, but not these types...

November 17th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Interesting info, but not enough evidence for me to stop feeding raw. I still suppport the diet 100%. Common sense around food handling reduces a lot of the risk in passing the bacteria on to humans. I've been feeding this way for several years now, and still feel the benefits outweigh the supposed risks.

November 18th, 2005, 12:11 AM
Also, you'd probably develop more of a resistance to the bacteria if you are exposed to it every day. ;)

November 29th, 2005, 12:21 PM
We've been raw-feeding our dog for 1.5 years now and I am not the most fastidious of house-keepers, LOL! and neither hubby nor I have ever had a problem with "bacteria", nor have any of our guests, etc.

Sure wash hands & surfaces with soap & hot water after handling raw meats, practice common-sense hygiene and you'll be fine. The risk of "infection" is so over-blown, IMO - meant as a scare tactic to put people off from the way mother nature intended our furry friends to eat.

Anyways, I am personally thrilled with this diet and the results speak for themselves in our dog's fantastic health, white teeth, pure breath, tiny odorless poops, etc. However it's not a diet for everyone because it requires some basic knowledge on how to shop, LOL! :king: The diet rules are simple: take chicken/ pork/ beef out of fridge, hand to doggy, let him eat. when done, let doggy kiss face as thank you! :D

he does however love his cup of "cookies" before bed (cookies being holistic kibble, he needs the added calories). Just like a kid loves his chocolate cake after dinner, i guess!