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    Stop eating your pet's food
    By Becky Jungbauer | November 2nd 2011 10:30 AM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Becky

    A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane

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    Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return. Or at least, that's the impression provided by the news coverage.

    The FDA started a "year-long nationwide effort to test pet food for salmonella contamination, but the key concern is not the health of dogs and cats - it's of their owners." FDA investigators began in October taking samples of dry pet food, pet treats and diet supplements from distributors, wholesalers and retailers like PetSmart, PetCo, WalMart, Costco, Sam's Club and Target, articles noted. 

    The FDA is "particularly concerned about salmonella being transmitted to humans through pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets that are intended to be fed to animals in homes, where they are likely to be directly handled or ingested by humans." Time out - ingested?
    Usually people get salmonella poisoning by eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it's also possible to get sick just "by putting objects or fingers contaminated with these germs into the mouth." So wash your hands after feeding your pets and keep infants away from the dog's dish, the CDC warned. And there is plenty of evidence to back up concern over human infection, the FDA said. The agency pointed to CDC data that show 70 people got sick from January 2006 through December 2007 in connection with salmonella-tainted dry dog food produced in Pennsylvania.
    Do we really need to tell people to not eat their pet's food? 

    Comments

    rholley
    Becky,

    As always, enjoying your column.
     
    This one reminds me of a children’s book where numerous rats were enticed away onto a floating rataurant, so that they ended up several miles down river.

    I remember two items on the menu: rat-a-gluey and smoked salmonella.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Becky Jungbauer
    I love themed puns, Robert - those are great!
    rholley
    I’ve remembered how the first dish was spelled (spelt?) – carrying the meaning better – and corrected accordingly.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Fossil Huntress
    Love the article, Becky and comments, Robert. Off to make little salmonella sandwiches with the crusts cut-off -- for my dog Kane, of course!
    !