Pathogen control important for pet food, too
Pathogen control isn’t only an issue in food processing for human food - pet food is just as susceptible to contamination as ‘people food’. While it is reasonable to assume that meat-based pet food products pose a significant risk, numerous large fruit and vegetable foodborne disease outbreaks in humans “clearly indicate that the risk is not only with meat products,” said Dr Scott Weese, a veterinary internist and microbiologist from the University of Guelph in Canada.
Dr Weese says contaminants in pet food and treats can be introduced by palatability enhancers added after the product is cooked, and via manufacturing equipment and post-manufacture storage.
While manufacturers can take preventive measures to prevent contamination, Dr Weese says consumers also play a role in keeping these products safe.
“While consumers do not have a direct influence on food safety practices in products they purchase, increasing literacy in food preparation and food safety and questioning manufacturers may help increase transparency and drive change if manufacturers realise that consumers will make purchase decisions based on perceptions of food safety,” Dr Weese said.
Dr Weese will deliver two presentations at the 2014 ACVIM Forum on 5 June entitled ‘Pathogen Contamination of Pet Food and Treats’ and ‘Animal and Public Health Consequences of Pathogen Contamination of Pet Food and Treats’.
The 2014 ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) Forum will be held in Nashville, USA, from 4 to 7 June.
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