Issues involving foods and supplements. Questions, answers, theories, and evidence.
Should pets be limited to one brand of food?


Postby malernee » Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:23 am

May 20, 2004


FDA has released final Guidance for Industry entitled, “Manufacture and Labeling of Raw Meat Foods for Companion and Captive Noncompanion Carnivores and Omnivores” (GFI #122) FDA developed the guidance in response to the increasing trend in the use of raw meat animal feeds. If the raw meat is not properly handled, bacteria present on the meat can make people and animals ill, and can contaminate home environments. CVM issued the guidance to industry to better protect animals and their owners. FDA released the draft guidance on this subject in December 2002.

The final guidance contains recommendations proposed in the draft guidance, including:

Manufacturers who produce raw meat diets should use USDA/Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)-inspected meat that has been passed for human consumption.

Manufacturers should use measures to prevent bacterial contamination of the meat. The measures manufacturers can use i nc lude irradiation, participation in USDA's voluntary inspection program, and use of good manufacturing practices such as those used for human foods.

Manufacturers could also develop and implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point programs, which are processes designed to discover the likely source of contamination and take action at those points to prevent problems.

When shipping the raw meat diets that are not freeze-dried, manufacturers should ensure the diet is kept frozen at all times.

Bones used in raw meat pet products should be ground so they will not cause trauma in the animal.

In addition to labels containing all components required by Federal and State statutes and regulations, the guida nc e recommends the label contain a section titled Guidelines for Safe Use that informs the reader to:

Keep the product frozen until ready to use

Thaw the product in the refrigerator or microwave

Keep the product separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils (including cutting boards, preparation and feeding bowls), hands, and any other items that touch or contact the product with hot soapy water.

Refrigerate leftover product immediately or discard.

The guidance document also states that FDA has not seen any objective evidence to suggest that raw meat diets are better than other kinds of diets.
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dvm article on raw food

Postby guest » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:49 am

Raw meat diet: not enough scientific validity to support use

Jan 1, 2004
By: Walt Ingwersen, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM
DVM Newsmagazine

Aside from the current debate over vaccination protocols, few topics engender such controversy as the nutrition we provide to our companion animals (or ourselves, for that matter).

It seems at times that pet owners are more inclined to make decisions based on anecdotal information, personal opinion and the latest "fad" rather than the substantial and growing body of science-based nutritional data that has contributed to the longer life span that our companion animals currently enjoy.

While no one would disagree that the motivation to provide for a healthier life is common regardless of which diet is chosen, the choices made can have significantly different outcomes.

Raw meat diet
The November/December 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association provides a case report detailing the occurrence of septicemic salmonellosis in two cats fed a raw meat diet (Stiver et al. Septicemic Salmonellosis in Two Cats Fed A Raw-Meat Diet. J Am An Hosp Assoc 203;39:538-542. Accessible via www.jaaha.org).

The two cats were part of a cattery environment and demonstrated clinical signs of gastrointestinal upset, weight loss, and anorexia that quickly progressed to a moribund clinical state and death. Postmortem examination confirmed septicemic salmonellosis as the underlying etiology with tissue cultures identifying Salmonella typhimurium in one cat, and Salmonella newport in the other. Similar culture results were obtained from the raw food fed to the latter cat.

While this report is the first to describe the occurrence of salmonellosis in cats secondary to a homemade raw-food diet, the results, at first glance, may appear to hold little clinical significance as salmonellosis has been identified in other species under similar circumstances. Raw food diets have been associated with a variety of infectious agents common to both pets and people, including Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157, Yersinia enterolitica, Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringes, Clostridium botulinum, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus (LeJune et al. Public Health Concerns Associated With Feeding Raw Meat Diets to Dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;Vol 219, No. 9:1222-1225.) The feeding of these diets has been a relatively common practice in dogs, particularly racing Greyhounds and sled dogs, but is also a growing trend for some pet owners. Sources include commercially available diets, homemade diets (e.g., bones and raw food [BARF]), as well as through supplementation (whether provided by the owner or secondary to outdoor hunting/scavenging.) There are reports of raw food diets resulting in clinical salmonellosis in the canine and this has prompted a health advisory regarding dog treats made from pig's ears, rawhide, and cow hooves (Food and Drug Administration. FDA issues a nationwide public health advisory about contaminated pet chews. Health and Human Services News. Available at: www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00692.html).

However, what is of emerging clinical significance is the growing body of information that demonstrates these diets pose a health risk not only for the pets that consume them but to their owners as well.

Other than a small number of Salmonella spp. (S. typhi and S. paratyphi A and B), all other species are considered to pose a zoonotic concern.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most cases of human salmonellosis are caused by four serovars: S. enterica ser Enterididis, S. ser Typhimurium, S. ser Newport, and S. ser Heidelberg (Sanchez et al. Animal Sources of Salmonellosis in Humans. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; Vol 221, No. 4:492-497). These Salmonella spp. have been commonly identified in companion animal salmonellosis, with the zoonotic potential clear. There are multiple potential sources of human exposure that can be traced to companion animals including a pet with clinical salmonellosis, a pet with asymptomatic salmonellosis shedding the organism via its stool, and as a result of raw-food diet preparation. The feeding of raw food diets has recently garnered the FDA's attention, and they have been identified as a potential public health risk. This has resulted in the establishment of guidelines to protect both pets and their owners (Guidance for industry #122 available at www.fda.gov.cvm/guidance/published.htm#published_3). Also, those counseling the immunocompromised on safe pet ownership have consistently recommended that raw-food diets not be fed, but rather a commercially available or cooked diet be used instead (Greene. Pet Ownership for Immunocompromised People. In Current Veterinary Therapy XII. W. B. Saunders Co.: 271-276).

Reclaim territory
So where does this leave the veterinarian? We need to reclaim the nutritional territory and reaffirm its rightful place under the veterinary profession umbrella. This has even been the topic of an ethical debate in the regular column titled Veterinary Medical Ethics featured in the Canadian Veterinary Journal where a reader posed the question 'Raw diets appear to be increasing in popularity; therefore, how should a veterinarian respond to questions regarding the appropriateness of these diets?' (Can Vet J 2003; Volume 44, No. 6:449-450). The responses focused on providing client information founded on evidence-based medicine, recognizing that there simply is not enough scientific data to date to support the nutritional validity of these diets, and to ensure that the owners are aware of the health risks to both their pet and themselves.

It is only through the inclusion of nutrition in each and every client visit, that we not only heighten awareness to these and other related nutritional issues, but also provide a renewed focus on the veterinary profession as the primary source of reliable information.

raw meat food posioning

Postby guest » Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:55 am

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 39:538-542 (2003)
© 2003 American Animal Hospital Association


Case Report

Septicemic Salmonellosis in Two Cats Fed a Raw-Meat Diet
Shane L. Stiver, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, Kendall S. Frazier, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP, Michael J. Mauel, PhD and Eloise L. Styer, PhD
From the Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, P.O. Box 1389, 43 Brighton Road, Tifton, Georgia 31794.

Salmonella gastroenteritis and septicemia were diagnosed in two cats presented for necropsy. Both cats resided in the same household and were fed a home-prepared, raw meat-based diet. Salmonella was isolated from multiple organs in both cats and from samples of raw beef incorporated into the diet fed to one of the cats. Subtyping of the bacterial isolates yielded Salmonella newport from one cat and from the diet it had been fed. This report provides evidence that the practice of feeding raw meat-based diets to domestic cats may result in clinical salmonellosis.


Postby guest » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:15 am

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 17 Aug 2004
From: ProMED-mail <promed@promedmail.org>
Source: The Register Guard, 14 Aug 2004 [edited]

Salmonella outbreak forces county to destroy feral cats
Almost 2 dozen feral cats, trapped in an area of west Eugene, have tested
positive for salmonella, and, have had to be euthanized, the Lane County
Animal Regulation Authority reported on Fri 13 Aug 2004. People who live in
the 1200 block of Garfield Street should make sure their pets have
identification tags, because agency workers will be trapping cats in the
area in a search for more sick animals.

Salmonella is contagious to other animals and to humans. So far, there have
been no reports of infected people, and agency officials don't think the
illness has spread beyond the stray and feral cats in the neighborhood.
Transmission is caused by contact with fluids, or feces, of infected
animals, so people should wash their hands thoroughly after handling
animals, said Mike Wellington, animal authority manager.

The agency became aware of the problem on 5 Aug 2004, when a resident
brought in 27 feral and stray cats trapped in the Garfield area, Wellington
said. 3 of the animals looked quite ill, and the person who brought them in
requested that they be euthanized. Within 2 days, all but 6 kittens showed
the same signs and were also euthanized. 4 of the cats were sent to the
Oregon State University veterinary diagnostic lab for testing, which
indicated group D salmonella, a fairly common strain of the bacterial
infection. Signs in the cats included vomiting, heavy salivation, and
diarrhea, Wellington said. Healthy domestic cats can fight off the
infection but still be carriers, he said. Anyone concerned about his or her
pet can have it tested by a veterinarian, he said.

contamination of commercially raw meat diets

Postby malernee » Fri May 19, 2006 9:42 am

Evaluation of bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs
J Am Vet Med Assoc. February 2006;228(4):537-42.
Rachel A Strohmeyer, Paul S Morley, Doreene R Hyatt, David A Dargatz, A Valeria Scorza, Michael R Lappin
Animal Population Health Institute, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal study. SAMPLE POPULATION: 240 samples from 20 raw meat diets for dogs (containing beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), 24 samples from 2 dry dog foods, and 24 samples from 2 canned dog foods. PROCEDURE: Each product was purchased commercially on 4 dates approximately 2 months apart. Three samples from each product at each sampling period were evaluated via bacterial culture for non-type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC), Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on selected isolates. Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to detect DNA from Cryptosporidium spp, Neospora spp, and Toxoplasma spp in samples obtained in the third and fourth sampling periods. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-three of 288 (53%) samples were contaminated with NTSEC. Both raw and prepared foods contained NTSEC during at least 1 culture period. Salmonella enterica was recovered from 17 (5.9%) samples, all of which were raw meat products. Campylobacter spp was not isolated from any samples. In 91 of 288 (31.6%) samples, there was no gram-negative bacterial growth before enrichment and in 48 of 288 (16.7%) samples, there was no aerobic bacterial growth before enrichment. Susceptibility phenotypes were variable. Cryptosporidium spp DNA was detected in 3 samples. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments.
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association between feeding raw meat and Salmonella

Postby malernee » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:26 am

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume 228 | Issue 10 (May 2006)
Evaluation of the association between feeding raw meat and Salmonella enterica infections at a Greyhound breeding facility
J Am Vet Med Assoc. May 2006;228(10):1524-32.
Paul S Morley, Rachel A Strohmeyer, Jeanetta D Tankson, Doreene R Hyatt, David A Dargatz, Paula J Fedorka-Cray
Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate Salmonella enterica infections at a Greyhound breeding facility. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. ANIMAL AND SAMPLE POPULATIONS: 138 adult and juvenile dogs and S. enterica isolates recovered from the dogs and their environment. PROCEDURES: The investigation was conducted at the request of a Greyhound breeder. Observations regarding the environment and population of dogs were recorded. Fecal, food, and environmental specimens were collected and submitted for Salmonella culture. Isolates were serotyped and tested for susceptibility to 16 antimicrobials. Isolates underwent genetic analyses by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and ribotyping. RESULTS: S. enterica was recovered from 88 of 133 (66%) samples of all types and from 57 of 61 (93%) fecal samples. Eighty-three (94.3%) of the isolates were serotype Newport, 77 (87.5%) of which had identical resistance phenotypes. Genetic evaluations suggested that several strains of S. enterica existed at the facility, but there was a high degree of relatedness among many of the Newport isolates. Multiple strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport were recovered from raw meat fed on 1 day. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: S. enterica infections and environmental contamination were common at this facility. A portion of the Salmonella strains detected on the premises was likely introduced via raw meat that was the primary dietary constituent. Some strains appeared to be widely disseminated in the population. Feeding meat that had not been cooked properly, particularly meat classified as unfit for human consumption, likely contributed to the infections in these dogs.
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