Should You Be Concerned About Salmonella?

Posted by Derek on 5/30/2012
Lately there has been a dark and dreary buzz about the dreaded salmonella poisoning. Pet owners everywhere are worried sick (no pun intended) about their dog food containing salmonella. So you may be asking yourself, "should I be worried?"

Salmonella poisoning comes from the ingestion of a bacteria. In this case, it's a rare strain called salmonella infantis. It can make you terribly sick for up to a week, causing symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps; and in extreme cases, it can be fatal.

Sounds pretty serious, right? Right, however it's not as serious as it sounds. Salmonella bacteria is present in human food on a daily basis. If you don't cook your chicken all the way, you may become poisoned by the dreaded salmonella bacteria. However, most people don't think that way about their dog's food. Do you wash your hands after cutting raw chicken? I imagine you do, and with dish soap and warm water! But do you always scrub your hands clean after scooping your dog's food for them? You may not.

Any time you make contact with uncooked food, it's good practice to wash your hands to avoid ingesting bacteria that could make you sick. Dog food, since dogs have stronger immunity and a better digestive system, can be left uncooked. It can contain salmonella because dogs are typically immune to it.

It's not common practice to sell dog food that contains salmonella, as it can inadvertently make its way into pet owners' blood streams and cause them illness. However, it happened. Infections were reported from October 8, 2011 to April 22, 2012 throughout 9 different states. Five people were hospitalized. This isn't that serious of a statistic when you consider how approximately 40,000 cases of salmonella poisoning are reported annually in the U.S.

So know that you don't need to be alarmed, you just have to wash your hands after feeding your pets.

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