ITCHMO EXCLUSIVE: In October of 2006, a month before the tainted wheat gluten got to Menu Foods, the FDA’s veterinarians launched a nationwide, year-long program to test hundreds of samples to reduce the number of people who are getting sick from handling pet foods that contain salmonella or e.coli.
It is in fact, extremely rare for pets to be sicked by salmonella.
We understand the FDA’s focus on human food safety, but if the FDA’s vets have the same focus, who is looking out for out pets?
Isn’t there a bigger problem with salmonella and e.coli than cross contamination with pet food? The FDA’s report says (emphasis ours):
There are numerous reports of human salmonellosis or E. coli O157:H7 infections in the United States (US) in which the illnesses were linked to human contact with various pets at homes, pet stores, petting zoos, zoos, fairs, and festivals. Pets implicated in these cases or outbreaks include chicks, ducklings, rabbits, livestock… and reptiles…
In most of these reports, the authors did not determine if feeds fed to the animals were implicated in the outbreaks/cases or played a role in the illnesses.
Wait, we don’t even know if this is really a problem?
What if the resource-strapped veterinary team in the FDA focused on the testing and quality procedures of the pet food industry? Instead of focusing on salmonella — which we’re more far likely to get from handling or under-cooking meat — in cat and dog food. How many people have you heard about get sick from touching pet food versus eating bad meat?
We will pass this info to Senator Durbin in the hopes that his hearing will reveal the FDA’s veterinary priorities.
More on recalled foods due to salmonella, and one recalled maker’s response after the jump.
So far, four pet food recalls have been issued due to salmonella:
The maker of Wild Kitty wrote to us to say:
I will be the first raw food manufacturer to produce an organically sterilized, pathogen free, cat food. It will be out by May 1. I take feline nutrition and health very seriously, and I spare no expense in making my food (Do you know how much shucked oysters and clams cost?). I make my food because it helps cats, and I just love cats. It breaks my heart that I have been kind of smeared with Menu Foods’ negligence.